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



Yi DING 丁乙


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Chalk and charcoal on canvas


120 x 140 cm and 53 x 40 cm


In this series -- as he does in Appearances of Crosses -- Ding Yi arrays the symbols "+" and "x" sequentially and interrelatedly on the canvas. The colors composed of these symbols and the canvas vary from gray to a lighter orange. Ding Yi claimed that the cross -- "+" or "x" -- in this work has solely on meaning. In discussion of that meaning, he commented that “[the one sole meaning] makes painting merely return to the essence of form, form and spirit" (cited in 'The Magician of the Cross', Cao Weijun, ARTLINKART). “The possibility of a breakthrough came with the notion of making art into something that does not resemble art; filtering out all notions of skill, narrative and painting. A cross, the most well-known printed symbol, has become my symbol. People often ask me about its implicit meaning, but in actual fact, in my work, it has none”. (Sotheby's (cited from the catalogue note of the work), 1057 Ding Yi - Appearances of the Crosses, available on http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2017/modern-contemporary-art-evening-sale-hk0736/lot.1057.html). (Jerry Wu'23).


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