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Zeng Fanzhi

One of China’s most acclaimed—and expensive—living artists, Zeng Fanzhi is renowned for gestural, expressionistic paintings that consider the lonely instability of contemporary life and the rapid modernization spurred by the Cultural Revolution. A student of both Eastern and Western art histories, the artist combines elements of communist Social Realism and German Expressionism (particularly the work of Max Beckmann) throughout his portraiture and large-scale, abstracted landscapes. Zeng achieved recognition in the 1990s for his painting series “Hospital” and “Meat,” all rendered in fleshy red and pink tones. Since then, he has exhibited widely in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Paris, New York, and beyond. Zeng represented China at the 2009 Venice Biennale. In 2014, the Louvre commissioned him to produce a work inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830). The year before, Zeng’s painting The Last Supper (2001) sold for $23.2 million at auction, setting a major record for an Asian contemporary artist.

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