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Su Zihan (Chinese, b.1978)
LOT ID: 67375
Private Space No. 17, 2011

Oil, on canvas
78.74 х 78.74 in. (200 x 200 cm.)
Signed, inscribed, and dated in oil on front of canvas. Signed and dated again with title all in Chinese and dimensions in cm on verso.
Lot description
"Private Space No. 17" (2011-04-24) is one of the largest, most compositionally sophisticated and undeniably erotic paintings by young Chinese Contemporary artist Su Zihan. Two beautiful, young Chinese women, one in a black bra, the other totally nude, are caught in an tender embrace, facing one another with arms gingerly wrapped around the other. The young women gaze outwards, with a look of tranquility, completely comfortable to be gazed upon, and to gaze back. The specific context here is unknown, yet an artificial light source illuminates their stunning facial details, porcelain skin, dark hair and eyes, making their portraits the visual focus. The element of reveal/conceal both literally and metaphorically is an iconic feature of his works, with select physical details of this sensual embrace are offered up, enhancing the voyeuristic feeling of the painting, others hidden in the shadows, enhancing longing and curiosity. Painted in a highly photo-realist manner and employing colors of blacks, greys and white from the photographic grey-scale, Su Zihan intentionally paints this as if it were a photograph yet the longer one looks, the more subtle color, especially the blush pink of their full mouths, comes into focus.

This works belongs to the artist's famed 'Private Space' series of portraits of beautiful young Chinese women that examine to the more accepting attitude in modern-day China for women to break cultural taboos and the increasingly acceptable practice of their pursuit of physical and mental pleasure, specifically sexual desires. Su Zihan is known for a style that is subtle yet undeniably erotic and never depicts graphic nudity but relies on non-verbal cues, usually the faces and hands of his subjects, to convey longing and desire.

Su Zihan was born in 1978 in China and received his formal training with a BFA from Fine Arts Department of Chuuzhou College, Anhui Province, China in 2001 and in 2003 he studied at The Fine Arts Academy, Oil Department of Anhui Normal University, Anhui Province, China. Su has already been exhibited and collected internationally at numerous Museums and Fine Art Galleries internationally including at The Shangshang Art Museum (Beijing, China), the Royal Castle Museum (Tours, France), and VIP’s International Gallery (Amsterdam, Netherlands), among numerous others. The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.
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Additional Market Information

Please note that this painting is much larger in size than all listed auction comparables.

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