Zhu Jinshi, ‘Lake in the Mountains’, 1985, Tang Contemporary Art

About Zhu Jinshi

Zhu Jinshi produces abstract paintings whose surfaces are built up with thick, near-sculptural layers of oil paint. Resembling colorful landscapes, Zhu’s images range in palette and scale, but the artist is known to always apply his oil paint with spatulas and shovels. Producing dense lashings of color, the artist’s method recalls the style and techniques espoused by the German Expressionists, who Zhu was profoundly influenced by during his years living in Berlin. Zhu belonged to a group of Chinese avant-garde artists named the Stars, which formed in 1979 to challenge aesthetic conventions and exhibit their work publicly. The group, which included the famous dissident artist Ai Weiwei, was granted an exhibition in 1980 at Beijing’s National Gallery, a breakthrough in Chinese cultural expression that helped to establish the creative force of the individual. “Although I operate within the realm of form,” Zhu has said, “my idea is to go beyond the limitations set by form and break free.” He has also produced photographic, video, installation, and performance works.

Chinese, b. 1954, Beijing, China