Author: ZHOU CHUNYA 周春芽
Signed and dated: Painted in 2001
Final Price: unsold
signed in Chinese and Pinyin, dated 2001
2002 The First Triennial of Chinese Art Volume 1 / P13 / Hubei Fine Arts Publishing House
2002 The First Chinese Art Triennial Guangzhou Art Museum, Guangzhou
Zhou Chunya is an artist who constantly breaks through the confinement. In the confrontation and communication between contemporary and traditional, China and the west, he is always looking for fresh visual materials and formal structures. From‘mountain rocks’,‘green dogs’ to‘peach blossoms’, each series of creation has proved how he disintegrates the inherent schema and order in Chinese and Western art, and establishes his own visual language system.Since the beginning of 1990, Zhou Chunya has successively experimented with his own artistic language -- expressive composition, images between concrete and abstract, thick muscles, bridging lines... In his paintings, the‘backlash’ and‘combination’ between‘language’ and‘image’ show the subjective construction of‘world’ and‘culture’.
In Zhou Chunya’s artistic process, each of his creative series is closely related to his life experiences and the things he cherishes in a specific period. In 1994, a German shepherd dog began to enter Zhou Chunya’s life and was named‘Hagen’. The love for Hagen prompted the image of the shepherd dog to appear in Zhou Chunyaa’s works. Even after Hagen died in 1999, this love continued on Zhou Chunya’s canvas. Therefore, Zhou Chunya’s‘green dog’ series was mixed with the painter’s completely different internal perception and sensitive emotions in different periods. In the green dog, created in 2001, the painter strengthens the visual concentration of the painted objects by eliminating the specific picture background, and presents rich picture texture and texture with unrestrained strokes and bold colors. In terms of image creation, the painter combines the shape and structure of sculpture with the visual characteristics of Chinese literati flower and bird paintings, and makes full use of the techniques of texturing, stacking and twisting to make the colors collide and stir on the canvas, and finally obtain a ups and downs‘body rhythm’, which highlights the artist’s creative emotion and strong personality between the subtle color echo and the flexible and swift strokes.
Since the early 1990s, Zhou Chunya has started the creation of‘mountain rocks’ series. This series is a new exploration by the artist to integrate the painting language of western expressionism and the pen and ink interest of traditional literati painting, reflecting the artist’s further deepening and transformation in artistic concept. Zhou Chunya went to Germany to study for three years in the 1980s, during which she was deeply influenced by German expressionist painting.’Stone’ has always been an important theme of traditional literati painting. Zhou Chunya said that‘perhaps stone is a symbol of nature, and its strength and smoothness are easier to be used by artists to express their spirit and skills’. In the‘mountains and rocks’ series, Zhou Chunya made a new interpretation of this classic visual symbol, and conveyed her strong subjective emotions through exaggerated deformation, strong colors and strokes.
This group of‘red stone’ was painted in 1994, which is similar to the form of‘opposite screen’ in traditional paintings, and at the same time as the triptych‘stone series - Shangli, Yaan’. It can be seen from the latter that the material of‘red stone’ comes from Yaan area, which has the largest red stone beach in the world. The painter was obviously attracted by the unique shape and wonderful light color effect of this stone, and then opened an important branch of the‘mountain stone’ series -‘red stone’ series creation.
The red tone in the red stone series is not only the color attribute of things, but also a kind of emotional expression full of tension. As the painter said,‘red is a public color, which has a strong explosive and stimulating effect’. In the picture, Zhou Chunya presents the life state of the stone itself in an almost naturalistic way. After careful investigation, the stream water was painted flat in red, but the red stone on the bank was faded, outlined in carbon black or crimson, and then shaded in light red to show where the strong light shines. Although the large and small stones have different shapes, they show an internal harmonious rhythm and picture rhythm under the careful layout of the artist. The red color in the painting is either thick or light, or thick or thin, which combines the publicity and surging of expressionist painting with the poetic and meaningful of small bridges and flowing water in traditional landscape painting. The large area of red is particularly striking against the background of carbon black, green, medium yellow and other rich contrast colors and complementary colors. It canot help but remind people of Matisse’s classic work harmony in red. The painter is also known as the leader of Lyric Expressionism because of his unique painting style and temperament.