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Zhang Lin (Chinese, b.1979)
LOT ID: 67324
Lonesome, 2010

Oil, on canvas
47.25 х 47.25 in. (120.02 x 120.02 cm.)
Signed, other, signed and dated on front in white oil paint lower right. Signed, with title and date with dimensions in cm on back of canvas .
Lot description
"Lonesome" (2010) is one of the most painterly and quietly seductive works by rising start, emerging Chinese Contemporary artist, Zhang Lin (b. 1979). This stunning oil painting belongs to his iconic "China Red" series of surreal portraits

"Lonesome" illustrates the conflicted desire for young Chinese women to respect traditional Chinese culture, as well as to express openly their desire to seen as modern, individual women in touch with their own sexuality and powers of seduction. This woman acts as a metaphor; a figure caught between past and present, reality and fantasy. From the neck up she is an image from China's past--wearing a traditional hair-style jewellery and accessories, with her face powdered white and lips, cheeks and eyes painted a bright pink. Above her head Chinese Characters in white paint arch as if a tiara that translate generally to "I feel lonely". The intimation of seduction here is reinforced by her direct gaze outwards, innocently inviting company.

The intricacy and details that Zhang paints her portrait with is in dynamic contrast to the sweeping, deft, gestural brushstrokes reminiscent of traditional Chinese ink painting in translucent swathes of light blues across her face, a literal veil of tradition that acts to heighten the reveal/conceal element of this work. The splatters of white, green and blue paint across the canvas give the work an ethereal yet dynamic feel.

Zhang Lin is one of the leading artists of the "80's Generation in China" and abroad. Like many of his contemporaries, Zhang focuses his artwork on social and gender issues that face the post-Cultural Revolution era. His paintings have been exhibited throughout Europe and Asia and most recently were included in the recent, prestigious exhibition "2011 New Chinese Painting", at the Beijing Times Art Museum, China. The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.
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