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ZHOU CHUNYA
(Chinese, B. 1955)
Property from A Private German Family Collection
ZHOU CHUNYA (Chinese, B. 1955)

Bull

Details
ZHOU CHUNYA
(Chinese, B. 1955)
Bull
dated '1988.9'; signed in Chinese (lower right)
charcoal on paper
118 x 84 cm. (46 1/2 x 33 in.)
Executed in 1988
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist during his fellowship in Kassel, Germany

Lot Essay

Zhou Chunya is one of China's most prominent and influential contemporary painters most celebrated for his unique style of combining Western art's expressive use of color and brushstroke with elements in traditional Chinese painting. These early works created from the late 1980s to 1990 show Zhou's early stylistic experiments. The unique environment and images from Zhou's time spend in the Tibetan grasslands appear throughout his works, like that found in Flowers (Lot 7167), Tibet (Lot 7170), Lady of the Zoige County (Lot 7168), Portrait and Cloud (Lot 7165), and Bull (Lot 7169). These works display a unique Chinese expressionistic style while revealing a set of ideas about the relationship between humans and nature that captured Zhou's impression of life in the grassland. Zhou takes on figurative techniques of soft, rubbed brushwork found in Chinese painting in works as Self-Portrait (Lot 7172) and Male and Female Study (Lot 7171 and Lot 7173). These works evoke the atmosphere and subtlety of Chinese literati painting and at the same time illustrate Zhou's use of a monochromatic palette. Zhou's gradual progression towards abstraction can be best viewed in Horse and Cloud (Lot 7166) where we can see the artist's use of heaping, interspersing brushstroke derived from the Germanic neo-expressionist perspective, offering a different tradition of expressivity that deviates from the conventional flatness of literati paintings; this elicits an exciting sentimental experience rarely found in Chinese art. These early works by Zhou Chunya allow viewers to enter into a spiritual landscape that transcends the limitations of the physical world.

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