Pace Galleries

毛焰

Mao Yan

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About 毛焰

毛焰1968年出生于湖南,是中国当代最优秀的肖像画家之一。受其父亲影响,毛焰自幼学画,十几岁时已经掌握了极其娴熟的技法,以至于在考入美院之前就被称为天才。著名批评家栗宪庭曾在《写实主义的探险》一文中将毛焰列为中国新写实主义的代表,称其刻画了“一个个表情正在消失的时代肖像”。灰色调、敏感的造型以及斑驳的笔触,使毛焰的作品无论在自然光下还是展厅灯光下都不会丢失画面的细节和生动性。毛焰探讨的不是“肖像”的意义而是“肖像画”的意义,是借用人物的轮廓和动作来完成线条、颜色、构图的实体化,是在写实主义的框架下探讨深幽微妙的人类精神世界。毛焰的作品曾多次受邀参加国内外的大型展览,其中包括2010年上海民生现代美术馆的开馆展“中国当代艺术三十年历程”;2009年上海美术馆的“意犹未尽:毛焰个展”;2008年巴西圣保罗国家美术馆的“中国:建构与解构”;2008年比利时布鲁塞尔BEIVUE美术馆的“今日中国”;以及2002年法国巴黎皮尔卡丹博物馆的“巴黎:北京”等。
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Press Release

  • Mao Yan

    New York—Pace is pleased to announce its presentation of Mao Yan’s first solo exhibition in the United States on view at 534 West 25th Street from March 6 through April 4, 2015. The exhibition features fourteen new paintings by one of China’s most revered portrait artists and will be the first time his work has been exhibited publicly in New York. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, March 5, 6 to 8 PM.

    To accompany the exhibition, Pace will publish a catalogue featuring a new essay on the artist’s work by art historian and critic Donald Kuspit.

    Mao Yan contends with the history of portraiture in his work, interpreting figures and faces through a subjective language steeped in the technical formalism he developed while studying in Beijing in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Mao Yan’s paintings exhibit tropes of portraiture such as the seated nude and oval frames, but cede deliberate representation to style and mood. Aqueous blue, green, and grey tones swirl around, coalescing into smoky figures defined by gestural brushwork. He empties his portrait subjects of interiority and identity, divorcing them from any background or context and allowing paint to take precedence. Mao Yan paints not to represent but to explore and capture the relationship between painting’s spiritual and technical dimensions.

    Painting at different sizes, Mao Yan creates distinct effects. Three nude portraits feature full figures looming over the viewer on their more than ten-feet-tall canvases. More small scaled works show only a head or a bust and allow for a more intimate exchange between the painting and viewer.

    The exhibition includes six recent portraits of Thomas Rohdewald, an émigré to China who has frequently appeared in Mao Yan’s work since 1999. Mao Yan began painting Thomas to move away from depicting his immediate circle of friends and family. The six versions of Thomas on view exhibit subtle differences that emphasize the artist’s concern with translating mood and spirit through paint and technique over any interest in mimesis.

    Mao Yan (b. 1968 Hunan Province, China) began studying painting as a child, and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1991. He left Beijing to teach at the Nanjing University of the Arts where he began to develop his first body of portraits. He was a 2013 recipient of the Martell Artists of the Year award by the Today Art Museum, Beijing, where his work was shown in the attendant exhibition.

    In 2009 Mao Yan was the subject of the solo exhibition Longing for More at the Shanghai Art Museum. His work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions including The Second Triennial of Chinese Contemporary Art, Nanjing Museum (2005); China: Construct and Deconstruction, National Gallery of São Paulo (2009); China Mania: Colorful, Diverse and Distinctly Narrative, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishøj (2010); Phenomena and Situation since 1985: Trends in Hubei and Hunan Chinese Contemporary Art 1985–2009 (2009); Collecting History: China New Art, Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art (2011); and Portrait of the Times: 30 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2013). The National Art Museum of China, Beijing, included the artist’s work in Chinese Oil Painting in the 20th Century (2000) and Towards a New Image: 20 Years of Contemporary Chinese Painting (2001), both of which traveled to the Shanghai Art Museum. His work was also included in Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern (2005), which traveled to the Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.

    His work is included in the collections of the University Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong University; Shanghai Art Museum; and the Shenzhen Art Museum, among others.

    Mao Yan lives and works in Nanjing. This is his second exhibition at Pace.

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    For press inquiries, please contact: Jennifer Joy, Sutton PR, +1 212 202 3402 or jen@suttonpr.com.

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Catalogues

MAO YAN

Donald Kuspit

2015. Pace Gallery. Paperback

46 pages: 18 color illustrations; 11 ½ x 8 ¾ inches

9781935410690

$25.00

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