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Huang Yan (Chinese, b.1966)
LOT ID: 64862
Portrait of a Man, 2012

Oil, on canvas
47.2 х 35.5 in. (119.89 x 90.17 cm.)
Other, signed, dated. A certificate of authenticity accompaines this work signed by the artist.
Lot description
This exciting painting is new to the market and in perfect condition.

Easily mistaken for a photograph, this visually arresting photo-realist oil painting is by one of the most famous photographers, painters and performance artists in China, Huang Yan. Depicting a close-up portrait of a young Chinese man whose face that has been painted white, with traditional Chinese floral landscape in full bloom, filled with bright pinks, greens and browns painted across his visage, her face as canvas. In stunning contrast to the tranquil scene upon his face, the clear and direct gaze of his wide-open, dark brown eyes makes this one of the most accomplished paintings by Huang, both conceptually and aesthetically. Huang Yan is internationally renowned for redefining the "human body as a canvas". This work belongs to his new series of large-scale oil paintings whose images are sourced from Huang's own, earlier celebrated photographic works of the human body as canvas, in this case stylistically similar to the series of close-up portraits of men's faces painted in similar fashion to his famed "Four Seasons" series.

This exciting series of large-scale oil paintings are very rare and are a highly important addition to the artist's oeuvre, as he has only painted a handful of these works to-date. In these paintings, and more often in photographs, Huang disproves the assumption that the human figure must always take the role of subject. In fact, this painting encapsulates what makes Huang so important, as it is a synthesis of a traditional Chinese landscape painted in a contemporary setting on a human body, thus creating a unique conceptual context. Huang continues to find new ways to encourage the viewer to ask whether the human figure is a passive backdrop for the real artwork- the painted landscape- or whether the figure is the subject of the artwork itself?

Huang Yan is highly sought-after by collectors and curators alike and has for decades been the subject of important solo and group show, including: 100 International Artists at the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, 2005, Italy; Between the Past and the Future at the International Center of Photography, 2004, NYC; Guangzhou Triennial Exhibition at the Guangdong Museum of Art, 2002; 1st Chinese Art Triennial, Guangzhou Art Museum, 2002; Canton Triennial, Canton Museum of Fine Arts, 2002, China; The Turn of the Century: Exhibition of Chinese Art 1979-1999, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, 1999, China; The East is Red, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1999, London UK. Huang Yan graduated from the Changchun Normal Academy, China in 1987. The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.
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