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Zhang Xiaogang (Chinese, b.1958)
LOT ID: 65182
Memory & Amnesia Portfoilio (12 Prints), 2006

Screenprint, Offset lithograph, offset lithograph with screenprint
18 х 23.1 in. (45.72 x 58.67 cm.)
Signed, other, each print. Each print also dated with edition number '84/88' all in front left and right lower margins in graphite by the artist.
Print/Casting Year 2006
Edition 84/88
Foundry/Publisher Gallery Artside, Beijing and Seoul
Lot description
ZHANG XIAOGANG. (Chinese, B. 1957)
"Amnesia and Memory" (Set of 12 prints). 2006.

The complete set of twelve offset lithographs with screenprint in colors, on Somerset 300g paper, loose (as issued), in excellent condition, with original blue linen covered portfolio box. Each individually signed, numbered, and dated in graphite lower front margins.
Edition for each print: 84/88.
Size Each Print: 18 x 23.1 in. / 45.7 x 58.7 cm. approx
Album Size: 31½ x 23½ in. (80 x 59.7 cm.) album.

Zhang’s paintings and editioned works have been among the continually high-performers on the secondary market. This portfolio is one of the most sought-after and important collections of his work and feature a rare and poignant range if images and compositions by Zhang.

Zhang Xiaogang is best known for somber and unsmiling, yet somehow soft, depictions of families, children and friends. The apparent similarities in all the portraits (or what may be considered as a kind of on-going self-portrait) express the homogeneity and collectivity Zhang saw as hallmarks of this time in Chinese history. However, false colors and often small incongruous elements belie the consistent, smoothed simplified features of bland, retouched, official studio portraits seen in the days before the Cultural Revolution, giving us just a glimpse of the individual behind the image. With the widespread disappearance of the “family portrait” during the Cultural Revolution, these painted portraits and objects that occupied his home-life, become steeped in an air of memory, nostalgia and loss.

The artist was born in a province capital in Southwestern China, and was 8 years old at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. During this dangerous and turbulent time, the artist’s mother insisted he learn to draw in order to keep him inside as much as possible, hence the prints here of depicting hand to paper, often with ink spilled. Far from the original intention of hiding him from the world, this practice led Zhang Xiaogang to become indisputably one of the most recognizable and significant Contemporary Chinese artist today, and he has enjoyed this status since the earliest days of the international art market in China. According to Sotheby’s, “…these hallmark images have become nothing less than visual shorthand for the entire category known as ‘Chinese contemporary art’."
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