Author: WANG ZIJIAO 王子骄
Signed and dated: Painted in 2017-2019
Estimate: No Reserve
Final Price: RMB 800,000
2019 Realistic China · 2019 Biennial Exhibition Masterpieces of Oil Painting / Dongyi Museum
signed in Chinese & pinyin and dated 2017
2016 Outstanding Works Exhibition with Doctoral Candidates of CAFA， CAFA Art Museum， Beijing
2017 Figurative Art China - Group Exhibition of 27 Artists， Beijing 1+1 Art Center， Beijing
2019 Gathering in Spring - Kangde Art Museum， National Agricultural Exhibition Center， Beijing
Must not refuse when artist requests to borrow for exhibition
Wang Zijiao is not like any other artist on the contemporary Chinese realistic oil painting scene. She graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts， but instead of focusing on ordinary real life like other realists， she expresses current society in a style reminiscent of classical Renaissance paintings. The very realistic， modern characters she portrays are quite contradictory with the classical painting language， but there is yet certain unexpected harmony. Her works are based on her exploration of classical art and observation of modern society， and they express her concern for life and humanity through humorous， metaphorical narrative images.
Bargaining has a composition characteristic of Western altar paintings， a very common form of Renaissance religious art， such as Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks made for the San Francesco Grande church in Milan. Wang chose the semi-circular composition and a non-three-dimensional， pure black background — a technique common in 15th century Dutch portraits， which highlights the facial features and characteristics of the protagonists. The artist placed both women in a closed space， constructing stage-like scenery and rich detail. There are no windows in the background， let alone any natural light， which gives the picture a surrealistic shade. Both women are of Han descent， yet they are wearing Western-style dresses and wigs of different colors. They seem to be playing a sort of role-playing game， and the whole scene combines Eastern and Western as well as classical and modern characteristics. The woman on the left holds money in her hand， while the one on the right has a wand similar to the wands of fairy godmothers in Western fairy tales， and the latter seems to be asking the former a question. Their calm demeanor hints at potentially hidden conflict， which may represent the “bargaining” between matter and spirit. Wang used Renaissance tempera techniques when portraying the characters. Their shapes are quite realistic， yet there is no evident three-dimensionality. The lightning is soft， with subtle tone changes， and the colors are rather pure. The skin， wigs， and dresses of both women have distinctly different textures， and the artist’s precision is reminiscent of portraits by 15th century Dutch painter Hans Memling.