Eli Klein Fine Art, one of America’s leading galleries specializing in Chinese Contemporary Art, is presenting a retrospective exhibition featuring the work of one of China’s most dynamic artists, Zhang Dali. Showcasing pieces from his most celebrated series, this exhibition reflects on the unprecedented growth and development China experienced when it expanded its contacts with the rest of the world in the 90s. This exhibition will be on view at Eli Klein Fine Art through February 18, 2013.
Much of Zhang Dali’s art focuses on the rapidly changing environment in China. His series, Dialogue, and the slightly later series, Demolition, highlight the forced modernization of Beijing. His spray-painted outlines of human heads–which evolved into the series Demolition, where the inner section of his heads were physically demolished—make a silent but biting protest about the destruction of traditional Beijing.
Zhang Dali’s work is extremely versatile as his sculpture, Chinese Offspring, illustrates. The artist created this body of work to recognize and celebrate the Chinese migrant worker’s dedication to China’s growth. In these pieces, he explores the massive disparity between poverty and wealth. Since 2003, he created over 100 of these life-size, resin-cast figures and each one possesses a unique tattoo–the artist issues each with a number, title, and his own signature of legitimacy.
In his Slogan series, Zhang Dali appropriates various Chinese propagandistic slogans from the streets of Beijing into his paintings. Though civilians feel numb to these omnipresent slogans, they are, subconsciously deeply influenced.
In 2003, Zhang Dali started researching historical photographs released by officially sanctioned publications and created Second History, a series of 130 works. The artist collected these historical images—which were altered by the government for propaganda purposes—and then matched them with images originating from the same negative, examining the ways the alterations were utilized. This body of work allows many Chinese to see for the first time the reality behind the images they are so familiar with.
The most recent series, World’s Shadow, brings the artist to a new medium. Photograms allow Zhang Dali to explore the physical and allegorical interaction between shadows and objects. The transient nature of shadows plays with Zhang Dali’s central themes; nature is replaced by concrete and steel, tradition is replaced by modernization, and each only leaves a shadow of their passing.
About Zhang Dali
Zhang Dali was born in Harbin, China in 1963, and earned his Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. His work has been exhibited in museum shows around the world including recent exhibitions “Zhang Dali: A Second History,” Les Rencontres d’Arles, 41st Edition (2010); “The Original Copy: Photography of a Sculpture, 1839 to Today,” MoMA, New York (2010); The 54th Venice Biennale (June, 2011); “New Photography 2011,” MoMA, New York (2011); and “Faking it: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012).
About Eli Klein Fine Art
Eli Klein Fine Art is committed to exhibiting and promoting Chinese contemporary art to a global audience. Through museum exhibitions, gallery shows, and the publication of exhibition catalogues and academic essays, we wish to stimulate inter-cultural dialogue and to promote an academic approach to China’s most ground-breaking talents. The artists we represent exemplify the cutting edge of Chinese contemporary art, employing various media and techniques representative of a rapidly changing culture. Our artists are carefully selected for their uniqueness of vision and far-reaching potential — qualities that we foster through close and supportive relationships.
Founded in 2007, Eli Klein Fine Art is now internationally considered to be one of the foremost galleries specializing in Chinese contemporary art and represents artists Liu Bolin, Han Yajuan, Zhang Gong, Shen Shaomin, Li Hongbo, Li Hui, Zhang Peng, Gao Rong, Miao Xiaochun, Cui Xiuwen, Han Yajuan and Lu Zhengyuan.
Address: 462 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Courtesy of the artist and Eli Klein Fine Art, for further information please visit www.ekfineart.com.