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Chen Wenbo

Chen Wenbo, who received his training at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, is considered one of the preeminent figurative oil painters in contemporary Chinese art. Chen’s work is characterized by the use of vivid colors and minutely detailed photorealism on a massive scale. He uses depictions of everyday objects in isolation as an interpretation of contemporary urban life; his subjects have included toilet paper, keys, pills, and dice. Chen’s more recent pieces take up the same themes, but move away from his earlier academic style—for an exhibition in 2009 titled “Abio-View,” he painted scenes taken from quotidian photographs across multiple large, irregularly shaped canvases. Chen explains that the interest of his practice is always “in the surface of things.”

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