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Yan Pei-Ming Mao

cm 300 x 300
During his adolescence, Yan Pei-Ming was a Maoist mural painter. He moved to France in 1980, four years after Mao Tse- Tung’s death, but only from 1987 did he begin to make portraits of communist leaders, once again portraying them in the typical poses used in propaganda photographs. Pei-Ming’s language and painting technique involve bold strokes, characteristic of certain abstract expressionists, but used to create portraits of a monumental size. For the large canvases, almost always monochromatic, he uses special brushes to portray famous people or unknown characters, invented or existing. Occasionally, the artist also paints vast imaginary landscapes. In contrast to other works with the same subject, in "Mao" the painting style is more composed and orderly and the subject is recognizable, although the energy and the speed of execution so typical of Pei-Ming’s style are still there, as we see from the numerous drips of color. Mao, who has now become a part of global mass culture, and also made into a pop icon by Warhol, is instead a subject and fetish for Pei-Ming, with infinite expressive possibilities. The portraits of Mao, as well as those of the Pope, and of the artist’s father, marginalized or ordinary individuals, are, as a group, an ideal and unattainable portrait of all humanity.
On View
Yan Pei-Ming. Fils du dragon, exhibition catalogue (Dijon, Musée des Beaux-Arts; Geneva, Musée d’Art et d’Historie; Reims, Frac Champagne-Ardenne / Le Collège), Dijon 2003. Yan Pei-Ming. Hommage à mon père. Dijon-Shanghai-Guangdong, exhibition catalogue (Shanghai, Art Museum; Guangdong, Museum of Art), Dijon 2005. L. Hegyi (ed.), Yan Pei-Ming Exécution, exhibition catalogue (Saint-Etienne Métropole, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain), Dijon 2006. G. Di Pietrantonio (ed.), Yan Pei-Ming con/with Yan Pei-Ming, exhibition catalogue (Bergamo, GAMeC-Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea), Milan 2008. H. Loyrette, Yan Pei-Ming. Roma, exhibition catalogue (Rome, Villa Medici), Milan 2016.
Photo Credits
Foto Roberto Galasso
Legal status
Purchased from Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan
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