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Chunya Zhou (b. 1955)
This Lot has been sourced from overseas. When au… Read more
Chunya Zhou (b. 1955)

I am Kahn (profile portrait of Kahn)

Chunya Zhou (b. 1955)
I am Kahn (profile portrait of Kahn)
signed Zhou Chunya in Chinese and Pinyin, dated '2007' (lower right); signed 'Zhou Chunya' in Chinese, titled and dated 'June 2007' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
150 x 120 cm. (59 1/16 x 47 3/16 in.)
Painted in 2007
Time Zone 8, Zhou Chunya, Beijing, China, 2010 (illustrated, p. 313)
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Lot Essay

Zhou began working on his signature Green Dog series starting in 1997, inspired by his beloved German shepherd dog, Hagen. The series, endearingly referred to as 'sculptures on canvas,' is a beautiful embodiment of quality, colour, silhouette and brushwork.

In I am Kahn (profile portrait of Kahn), Zhou Chunya resorts to rubbing, scraping, and curvilinear brushwork to outline the green dog. The dense twist of strokes fill the piece with 'rhythmic rise and fall.' Eschewing the blank background technique, Zhou places the green dog against a pure white background to heighten colour expressiveness, and give sculptural dimension to the composition. This is not unlike the creative process of Minimalist sculpture, in which a monochrome background was often applied to enhance viewer impression.

The genitalia of the green dog is painted bright red to highlight the animal's primal nature. Zhou is fascinated by the purity and primeval strengths of the animal. He outlines the form of the dog with Realistic, simple brushstrokes and sharp, bright colours, so that the work becomes a visual extension of Realism. It acknowledges the canines as men's best friend, and their primitive bestiality.

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