Zhou Chunya (B. 1955)
Zhou Chunya (B. 1955)

Graff, Becker and TT

Zhou Chunya (B. 1955)
Graff, Becker and TT
signed in Chinese; signed 'Zhou Chunya' in Pinyin; dated '2009' (lower right)
oil on canvas
220 x 320 cm. (86 5/8 x 125 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2009
Timezone 8 Ltd., Zhou Chunya, Beijing, China, 2010 (illustrated, pp. 402-403).
Shanghai Art Museum, Zhou Chunya, Shanghai, China, 2010, (illustrated, p. 402).
China Today Gallery, Zhou Chunya Flora and Fauna, 2010, (illustrated, p. 46).
Ching Wan Society, Ching Wan Society Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition, Taipei, Taiwan, 2012 (illustrated, p. 240).
Denmark, Arkansas Museum of Contemporary Art, CHINAMANIA, 2009.
Madrid, Spain, China Today Gallery, ARCO 10, 2010.
Taipei, Taiwan, My Humble House Art Gallery, Blooming Flower, Stone, Green Dog: Collection by Zhou Chunya, 2011.

Lot Essay

Zhou Chunya started painting the Green Dog series in 1997 and the works have become some of the most iconic of the artist's oeuvre. Zhou's inspiration was his German Shepherd, Heigen. The series is often described as 'sculpture on canvas', with its emphasis on texture, colour, lines and brushstrokes.
With Green Dog Series (Lot 524), the dog is sitting and its genitals and throat are painted red, enhancing the primitive nature of the animal. The artist is attracted to the pure and primordial energy of animal bodies. He expresses these qualities through pure painterly means, using spare brushstrokes and strident, pure colours. The green dogs are never 'cute'; they are depicted as instinctive and carnal creatures. The colour green, according to the artist, is the symbol of good luck. The artist contrasts the unreality of the green hues with a realistic depiction of the dog, and, through repetition, creates an iconography for contemporary life.
Heigen died in 1999, which resulted in a period of mourning and artistic inactivity for the artist. Zhou re-emerged in 2001, redirecting his attention to his friend's dogs and beginning another fertile artistic period. Graff, Becker and TT (Lot 420), presents three dogs of different breeds. Green is no longer the main colour, and shades of brown and purple highlight the different characteristics of the dogs. Zhou also leaves a trail of drippings that become formal elements of his paintings. The visual effects are expressionistic, bringing out the raw and savage energy of man's best friend.

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