Zhou Yan Contemporary Chinese Art Archive 周彦当代中国艺术档案



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Oil on canvas


200 x 180 cm


At the center of the composition, foiled against a stark vermilion backdrop, looms two figures, rendered only economically by greenish yellow and red paints. These figures, judging from their garments and symbolic postures and items in hands, form a representative image of Chinese Communism; or if inserting the image into its specific contexts, Cultural Revolution. At the left bottom of the artwork, a logo of American costume company "Mexx" is inserted, juxtaposing itself, or even framing itself, around the Communist imagery. "Great Criticism" was an extended series WANG worked from 1990s to 2007. In 2007, WANG put a halt on the series, claiming that the series' success would distort and smudge the work's meanings. One major attempt of this "political pop" artwork was to liberate "art" from its exclusive, esoteric high throne, and to further avail it to general public. WANG in the work cited two of such practices in art trend -- across the globe -- "Cultural Revolution" propaganda art (in China) and Commercial Pop art (in the United States). A resonance of cross-cultural artistic movements is reflected in WANG's citations. (Wang, 王广义《大批判》系列作品, available on https://m.sohu.com/n/452112377/?wscrid=32576_3); see also (Wang, Artist Note: on "Great Criticism" 关于“大批判”的想法, 1996, available on ZHOU Document). (Jerry Wu'23).



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