Liberty gets a makeover
Updated: 2015-03-17 08:01
By Lin Qi(China Daily)
Zeng Fanzhi has created a series of works that link classic European masters with contemporary painting. Lin Qi reports.Zeng Fanzhi has created a series of works that link classic European masters with contemporary painting. Lin Qi reports.
Zeng Fanzhi's solo exhibition at ShanghART Beijing is "a quiet show catering purely to painting lovers", gallery founder Lorenz Helbling says.
The Louvre Project displays four paintings, From 1830 Till Now, which Zeng, 51, created for a special show at the Louvre in Paris last year. The idea originated at a meeting between Zeng and Henri Loyrette, then director of the Louvre, in Hong Kong in 2011. The two decided to cooperate on an exhibition to examine the interaction between classic and contemporary art.
From Oct 22 to Nov 17, From 1830 Till Now No. 4 appeared in the Louvre's Room 77, which is known for its dark red walls and the masterpieces on show, including Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix.
Zeng created an encounter between the past and present, the realistic and abstract in his series. He placed Marianne, the Goddess of Liberty from Delacroix's work, into a scene in his series, Messy Landscape.
The show at ShanghART presents the whole series－No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 together－for the first time.
"An artist made repeated attempts to accomplish one theme－it's undoubtedly a rather interesting topic for an exhibition," Helbling said ahead of the exhibition's opening in early March.
The walls at ShanghART Beijing have been painted a dark red, which, according to Helbling, is also a part of the work.
"They echo with the Louvre. Also, they represent Western art in the eyes of Chinese artists and the public. It has been a long-standing concept for most of the people, and how to interpret it may vary utterly in the past, present and future."
No. 1 and No. 4 share the same wall to mark the beginning and the end of the project. Visitors can see how Zeng changed and furthered in exploring the motif.
Zeng paid tribute to the masters of classic painting in No. 1. He took a traditional approach to the painting, so it is most like the original piece in composition and detail. The remaining three works together depict a process of self-discovery for the artist, which was realized through the changes in appearance of the Goddess of Liberty and the fighters.