Artist of the moment….Gao Zengli….

Gao Zengli was born in Lanzhou, China in 1964.

For his college educaton Zengli attended the Fine Arts Academy of Shandong. He also attended the Paris National Academy of the Arts.

A short clip featuring a show given by the artist.

The artist had his first solo show in 2000.

The theme of his work is to take an idea or a thought that it is embedded in his memory, and then recreate the emotions of the day through painting.

Sometimes the images are of famous people such as Chairman Mao. By using famous people that he remembers from childhood the artist hopes to tap into feelings that people had about China and compare them to the thoughts and emotions of modern China as their struggle for freedom and a middle class continues.

Currently the artist moves back and forth between Beijing, China and Paris, France. He appreciates how different both cultures are from each other and keeps a studio in both cities. Also Zengli states that the more he is away from China, the more he wants to paint the memories he has from China.

Zengli has had major one man shows in Russia, Singapore, Italy, and Australia.

His paintings are very large having sides longer than fifty inches.

From his artistic statement we find out that the artist prefers to work in black and white for his memory paintings. He says its easier for him to remember.
I enjoy this artist’s work for his variety of paint surfaces and techniques. In many works the artist attaches ceramic bowls and plates both broken and new, to a gunny sack or canvas.  Zengli then paints right over the entire surface with oils.

Using the ceramics in addition to his paintings give his work a very unique feel. The monk reading a book is a great example. He is trying to enrich his modern life, via old school Chinese ideas of self reflection and enlightenment through the gathering of knowledge. By including the traditonal Chinese ceramics with the young monk the viewer is shown a bigger glimpse into the ideas and themes of the modern make up of contemporary China.

low price range:  $10,000   for a  60 by 60 inch painting done in oils.

high price range:  $ 28,000 for a 60 by 60 inch painting of the Chairman Mao.

I enjoy this artist for his very unique method of portraying his culture on canvas. I would like to see some paintings of Taos with some of the traditional pottery worked into the background!

Try a new medium to learn to appreciate what you already know!


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