FOR AUCTION: MAJOR COLLECTION OF CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Clars Auction Gallery is pleased to offer a collection of significant Chinese contemporary art in its upcoming February 2-3, 2008 auction. The sale will feature works by noted ar
FOR AUCTION: MAJOR COLLECTION OF CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Clars Auction Gallery is pleased to offer a collection of significant Chinese contemporary art in its upcoming February 2-3, 2008 auction. The sale will feature works by noted artists, including Chen Danqing, Luo Zhongli, Dr. Tsing Fang Chen, He Neng and Tang Wei Min. Many of the paintings are from the collection of Allan Fingerhut, a California gallery owner and art dealer who played a significant role in bringing major works from China’s Yunnan School to the attention of the American art market.
In its November 3-4, 2007 auction, Clars tested its market by offering four remarkable paintings by Luo Zhongli (Chinese, 1948 - ). The results were impressive. Together, Zhongli’s works – vibrant treatments of traditional rural imagery – sold to a European buyer for nearly a quarter of a million dollars, offering the art world additional confirmation that the current appetite for Chinese contemporary art is not only strong, it is international.
The works of Luo Zhongli, like those of many of the artists to be featured in the Clars February auction, were informed and inspired by the Yunnan School. This artistic movement was born during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), which led the Chinese art community to question their own political and artistic history. The founders of the school met during their government-decreed exile to China’s southern Yunnan Province, where many of them were forced to create propagandistic art. The early Yunnan School art was painted at night, in secret, and many artists subsequently burned their creations to avoid discovery. Yet this group was also inspired by their surroundings: the local, ancient cave paintings and the brightly colored art and unique traditions of the people of the Yunnan province. Upon the death of Mao Tse-Tung in 1976, the artists of the Yunnan School brought their works out into the public sphere, startling the art world with radical creations, original in both technique and content.
The characteristics that made Yunnan School art unique during the late 1970s and 1980s continue to drive its popularity in the art market today: a reinvention of tradition and a reinterpretation of iconography. These qualities undoubtedly influenced the paintings of Dr. Tsing-Fang (T.F.) Chen (Taiwanese, 1936 – ). Many of his works feature a manipulation of familiar artistic images designed to inspire a comparison between
Eastern and Western artistic traditions, and, ultimately, East and West. Dr. Chen studied at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts and La Sorbonne, and was awarded the “Global Tolerance Award” by the Friends of the United Nations, and the “Taiwanese Nobel Prize” by the Taiwanese American Foundation.
The art of Chen Danqing, while not as brightly colored as the other works in the Clars collection, still recalls a reinvention of tradition, particularly in his series of Tibetan portraits, of which Clars has two to offer. During the Cultural Revolution,