Here’s an interesting article confirming the strength of the art buying market in China that Bob Rose was telling me about:
Go here for the News from Thailand post:
Zeng Fanzhi has a picture in the article I couldn’t capture, but I was able to grab this one:
The feel is slightly reminiscent of the great American painter Alice Neel:
Neel was all but ignored by this country, as most good painters were. Neel was one of the fortunate ones, in that the Whitney finally saw fit to give her a retrospective. She was quite old and I think died soon afterwards.
She was one of the figurative painters whose careers were killed off by the totatitarian aspects of abstract painting in the 50s.
How much more ironic can it get. Now China is marching ahead with booming sales, as US art with its commitment to Jasper Johns type nothingness looks increasingly lame and here is a Chinese painting like Alice Neel! The work at auction sold for 1.3 million. These are still low figures compared to the Contemporary American masters of the Warhol stripe…. but I can foretell the future. The trite and trendy will be replaced by the soulful and deeply human. Fang’s work is also very much in feeling like early figurative Moderns like Meidner.
Again, my sense is that if there is an art history that is going to continue into the future, the dead nihilism of American contemporary painting with it’s pseudo-intellectual and sterile cerebral approach will look increasingly weak and empty. Certain American artists are waking up to that. But most of them still have their dadaist smart ass thing going, too gutless to show any real genuine feeling. They’d be too unhip for the critics who demand irony and detachment. That’s what critics are… detached. Artists are hurting themselves if they try to to emulate stupid critics. It’s the stupidity of following these critics that has largely polluted and crushed American painting and art in general for decades….