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Cao Xiaodong (Chinese, b.1961)
LOT ID: 79539
Proof of the Youth No. 5 , 2008

Oil, on canvas.
70.85 х 70.85 in. (179.96 x 179.96 cm.)
Signed, in Chinese, with title, date and dimensions all on verso.
Lot description
"Proof of the Youth No. 5" (2008) is arguably one of the finest examples of the large-scale figurative paintings by Chinese Contemporary artist Cao Xiaodong (China, b. 1961). This work encapsulates Cao's overall message, speaking directly to the social and cultural differences between East and West. In "Proof of the Youth, no. 5 " Cao has vertically divided the canvas at center. On the right stands a young Chinese woman depicted in the standard issue Red Guard asexual baggy uniform that hides her physique, with her long hair tied in braids. She is clearly an individual whose "proof of youth" has been absorbed from her by the Cultural Revolution in China. In vivid contrast, she is juxtaposed with the image of a beautiful young American woman dressed in a seductive 'uniform' of a glamorous Playboy Bunny, her "proof of youth" is clearly celebrated in the era of the Sexual Revolution in the U.S. The soft colors this work is painted with heighten the feel that these are vintage photographs and not a highly detailed realist oil painting. This work measures 70.85 x 70.85 inches (180 x 180 cm) and is in excellent condition.

Cao paints by painstakingly pointillism technique applying thousands of tiny oil paint dots directly onto the canvas. His method of painting and choice of iconography are clear commentaries of West versus East--from a distance his paintings are an idealized European portrait, from up close Stand and the images dissolve into an abstract haze of a traditional Chinese ink painting. The artist graduated from Industry Design College, Jiangnan University in 1982. Notable Solo Exhibitions include: 2009 "Cao Xiaodong Abstract Solo Exhibition", Egg Gallery, Beijing, China; 2008 "Cao Xiaodong Solo Exhibition", Ode Gallery, Singapore and "Save As", Virginia Miller Gallery, Miami, USA. Selected Group Exhibitions: 2011 "History and Future", Soemo Fine Arts, Beijing, China and in 2010 "Link," at the Shanghai Mingyuan Art Museum, China and again in 2010 "Trace" ,Time Museum, Beijing and was also invited to exhibit at "The 25th Asia International Art Exhibition", Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.
Proof of the Youth No. 5 by Cao Xiaodong
  • Proof of the Youth No. 5 by Cao Xiaodong
  • Proof of the Youth No. 5 by Cao Xiaodong
  • Proof of the Youth No. 5 by Cao Xiaodong
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