Exhibition Yan Pei-Ming
from February 12, 2009 to May 28, 2009
Yan Pei-MingLes funérailles de Monna Lisa, huile sur toile
© Yan Pei-Ming. Photo : André Morin, ADAGP, Paris, 2009
Following upon the exhibition Picasso/Delacroix, and with a view to delving once again into the rich mine of confrontations between contemporary artists and earlier masters, the Louvre extends an invitation to the Franco-Chinese painter Yan Pei-Ming.
The artist will present several monumental paintings at the very heart of the museum: in the galleries devoted to the largest French nineteenth-century canvases and opposite the Salle des Etats, home to a number of masterpieces of Italian Renaissance painting. In so doing Yan Pei-Ming will seek to convey his singular perspective on the most famous work of art in the Louvre’s collections: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
This young, immensely talented painter was born into the Cultural Revolution and served as a propaganda artist under the Maoist regime before emigrating to France in 1980, at the age of 19. Throughout his career in exile, his unique artistic style has contained echoes of totalitarian aesthetics, at the same time eluding their grasp. He often executes series of paintings, imposing in their dimensions, their use of aggressive and violent gesture, and the hieratic attitude of the figures depicted in portraits, chief among them Chinese political and cultural icons. His works explore traditional genres—still life, landscape, figurative and history painting—making austere use of a signature black-white-and-gray palette (with the occasional addition of a deep, saturated red) and a scale of representation that resist simple interpretations. Yan employs confident, muscular brushstrokes, applying the paint in broad, fast sweeps, allowing the excess to run along the surface of the canvas.
Since the early years of the current decade, Yan’s work has taken on a decidedly political focus (Mao, Obama/McCain, Jean Paul II, Buddha). At the Louvre, he engages directly with a number of iconic masterpieces in the museum’s collections.
In the Auditorium du Louvre: Event in the Face to Face series, March 27 at 8 p.m. Stolen Images: Yan Pei-Ming, in conversation with Xavier Douroux, Consortium de Dijon.
64 pages, co-published by Musée du Louvre Editions and Beaux-Arts de Paris les éditions
Texts by Henri Loyrette, Bernard Marcadé and Marie-Laure Bernadac.
Recent exhibitions in France
2006: Exécution, Museum of Modern Art, Saint-Etienne
2007/08: Portraits d’artistes, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Notable exhibitions outside France
2008: Life souvenir, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (USA)
2009: Solo exhibition, San Francisco Art Institute, California (USA)
With France Culture, Télérama and Paris Première as media partners
Organized by: Marie-Laure Bernadac, Curator in Charge, Special Advisor on Contemporary Art, Musée du Louvre
Practical informationVisitor information
The works are presented in the galleries of the Department of Paintings (French School), Denon Wing.
Open every day except Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Evening hours on Wednesdays and Fridays until 10 p.m.
Access to the exhibition is included in the purchase of an admission to the museum’s permanent collections: €9; €6 after 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
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