Mao Yan: New Paintings 19th January – 9th March 2023 PACE 5 Hanover Square London
Pace is hosting an exhibition of new paintings by Mao Yan in London, displaying his artistic practice in recent years. Mao Yan is one of the most influential painters in China, renowned for his stunning portraits, which he has been creating for over a decade. His paintings reflect on the depth of expression in the traditional medium of painting, as well as the relationship between art and life.
The forthcoming London exhibition will focus on Mao Yan’s new artistic phase, bringing together recent works of his most representative portraits and abstract paintings. By layering time, materials, and brushstrokes, Mao Yan’s paintings demonstrate the possibilities of classical temperament and dynamic innovation. This exhibition follows his large-scale survey at the Song Art Museum in Beijing, which provided a panoramic view of his explorations and attempts on visual language.
Mao Yan is regarded as one of the leading contemporary artists in China. He started learning painting at a young age and became proficient in advanced techniques by his teenage years. After graduating from the Oil Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1991, he began teaching at Nanjing University of the Arts. It was here that he began to explore portraiture.
In a famous article titled “Explorations in Realism,” distinguished art critic Li Xianting referred to Mao Yan as the representative of Chinese Neo-Realism, stating that his paintings depict the “portraits of a generation whose emotions are gradually fading away.” Mao’s portraits do not utilize specific cultural or temporal references, rather his reduced palette of cool gray and blue tones is used as a compositional device, which he considers a subject of the work in itself.
Mao Yan: New Paintings opens on the 19th of January until the 9th of March 2023 at PACE London
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