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Yan Peiming Solo Exhibition: PITTORE DI STORIE

"The brilliant Chinese artist living in France"

Yan Peiming, as one of the most talented Chinese contemporary oil painting artists, was born in Shanghai, China in 1960. He went to Europe in the 1980s and studied at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, France, the Institute of Plastic Arts in Paris, France, and the Accademia Française in Rome, Italy. . Since 1995, he has been teaching at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, France, and currently lives in Paris. He is famous in the art world at home and abroad for his "unique carbon-smoked textured black and white monochrome portrait style". His paintings are usually huge in size, with both grandeur and delicacy, and brushstrokes that are both sharp and loose.

The artist's painting style and themes are actually closely related to his experiences in China during his youth. His childhood memories are filled with historical fragments of the Cultural Revolution, big-character posters, portraits of great figures, and the turbulent political environment. These cultural fragments from his early years permeated his creative thinking and motivations, and they still deeply influenced his painting style even after he moved to France.


"The Funeral of Mona Lisa"

In February 2009, Yan Peiming held an exhibition called "The Funeral of Mona Lisa" at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. He is also recognized as the first living contemporary artist to hold an exhibition at the Louvre Museum. There are five paintings in the exhibition, including portraits of the artist himself and his late father. At the center is a large, gray-toned Mona Lisa.

For hundreds of years since the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa has been shrouded in mystery by the history of art, and has even become synonymous with mystery. It no longer exists as a single identity of a great artistic masterpiece. Instead it has become a public resource for the literary and artistic community. Artists of every era try to create a personalized symbol of the Mona Lisa, and Yan Peiming is no exception. He created another mystery in this special place where the original Mona Lisa is displayed. Yan Peiming processed the Mona Lisa into a hazy gray tone. It was displayed next to the original work, less than 30 meters away, like a shadowy echo, creating a "meeting and collision of classic art and contemporary art." . The dripping oil paint traces under the eyes of the characters in the mottled painting are the finishing touch of the theme of this "Mona Lisa's Funeral" exhibition. The dim and sad tears slowly seep out from the classical haziness until they form There are artistic traces that viewers cannot ignore.

"Historical Painter of Strozzi Palace"

As a world-renowned Chinese painter, Yan Peiming has been invited to participate in large-scale international exhibitions around the world, including "Studio 88" at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris in 1988, "Movement 2" at the Pompidou Center in 1991, and "Movement 2" at the Pompidou Center in 1995. ’s Venice Biennale, as well as the aforementioned “Mona Lisa’s Burial” at the Louvre in 2009.

This solo exhibition collaboration between Yan Peiming and Strozzi Palace is not only a new chapter in the artist’s illustrious artistic career in Europe, but also an expansion of the cultural scope of the exhibition hall. Palazzo Strozzi is an ancient large palace located in Florence, Italy. It was built in 1489. Its owner, banker Philippe Strozzi Sr., was one of the competitors of the Medici family. Since modern times, Palazzo Strozzi has been Florence's official large-scale exhibition space and has been used to host solo exhibitions of famous artists from all over the world every year. Since 2021, the venue has hosted Jeff Koons, Olafur Eliasson, and Maurizio Cattelan. This Yan Peiming solo exhibition is different from the above-mentioned art that has its roots in European and American culture. It has very distinctive characteristics of oriental artists in terms of subject matter and painting style.

The name of this exhibition is "Pittore di Storie" in Italian, which literally means "painter of history". However, rather than this great foil surrounding the artist's personal centralism, I prefer to return to the painting itself and place this exhibition in The Chinese propaganda translates it as "historical painting".

Exhibition information

Exhibition name: PITTORE DI STORIE

Exhibition time: July 7-September 3, 2023

Exhibition location: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy

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