Selected works by Zhang Yuan

Zhang Yuan
9 o'clock

2007

Oil on canvas

210 x 295 cm

Rendered in the thinnest grey pigments over chalky white backgrounds, Zhang Yuan’s scenes are more apparitions than articulated forms. Transient, diffused, dripping as if still wet, Zhang’s paintings convey a dream-like state, where unrelated images converge as subconscious narrative suggestions, creating their own associations and tangents through the viewer’s instinctive response.

Zhang Yuan
Brilliance

2007

Oil on canvas

210 x 280 cm

That Zhang works from found photographs adds a layer of mystery to his ephemeral compositions. Presented as a series of ’‘montaged’ vignettes rather than a unified whole, portraits, landscapes, and industrial scenes mingle without fixed place or context, their familiar anonymity appropriated directly from the vague-ities of collective memory. Zhang’s spontaneous illustrative style, however, lends itself more to film: his random images flit in and out of focus, hinting at just enough detail to give an impression before melting away into the next; his fragmented subjects allude to a sense of non-sequential time.

Zhang Yuan
Fog's Colour

2007

Oil on canvas

210 x 280 cm

For Zhang, it isn’t the images or their potential meaning that is of interest, but rather the opportunities they present for painterly negotiation and embellishment. Zhang uses his medium with the fluency of a master. His brushstrokes embody a calligraphic elegance, encapsulating each sentiment with an economic shorthand: a dab of white transforms a cartoon face to a realistic figure, smoke is instantly created with one sooty squiggle, and an abbreviated line can be anything from a boat, to a horizon, or a leg. The intrigue of Zhang’s work lies in this delicate balance between representation and imagination, that misty area where new ideas are emerge between appetence and cognition.


Other Resources

artfacts.net
Additional information and images – Zhang Yuan

artnet.com
Various and images - Zhang Yuan

platformchina.org
Platform China – Representing Gallery
Information on Zhang Yuan’s current exhibition at Platform China.
“the important part is not the paintings and the images themselves, but the subtle emotions and the concealed structure created by the adequacy of the images and details ……, the images adjacent or not come to a montage-narration…”

V121.cn
Information on current exhibition ‘Concealed order’
Zhang Yuan in the "hidden order" as the theme of this series of works, the use of a wide array of sources rather than the famous image material, refined brushwork with sensitive for us build a broad reading space, but like the fog of Maryland.

artist.artron.net
Information on current exhibition ‘Concealed order’ on Chinese Art resource website.