Lot Details

The title of this 2007 work by Wang Ziwei is a reference to Roy Lichtenstein's 1963 painting of the same name, which depicts a dejected woman thinking, “That’s the way it should have begun! But it’s hopeless!” In the present work, Wang has removed the words but retained Lichtenstein's sentiment, inserting a portrait of Mao into the thought bubble. "Hopeless" typifies the artist's best-known work, in which he fuses Mao's portrait with imagery from the Western Pop tradition.

After graduating from the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts in 1983, Wang Ziwei (b. 1963) worked as a designer for an advertising agency, where he saw how easily images could be manipulated to promote ideas and opinions. During this time, Wang began work on a painting series which assimilated a portrait of Mao with Western Pop art images, placing the political leader in an entirely new context filled with colorful cartoons and Pop icons. Wang's cheery portrayals of Mao helped launch a Pop art movement in China that was centered on political imagery. His paintings have been included in major exhibitions at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba (2009); the State Tretyajov Gallery, Moscow, Russia (2007); the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England (1999); and the San Jose Museum of Art, CA (1997).

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Provenance:
  • Galerie Hussenot, Paris, France Private Collection, USA
  • Pickup Location: Florida, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 82.75 x 71 in. (210.18 x 180.34 cm.)
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