XU WEIXIN (né en 1958)

Lot 4
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Estimation :
30000 - 40000 EUR
XU WEIXIN (né en 1958)
Portrait de femme, 2006
Oil on canvas
47 1/4 x 39 3/8 in.

Nous remercions l'artiste Monsieur Xu Weixin de nous avoir confirmé l'authenticité de cette oeuvre. 

Offered by the artist to the current owner
Private collection, Paris

Xu Weixin 徐唯辛
Xu Wei Xin is a Chinese painter born 1958 in Xinjiang province. His work includes a series of large-scale portraits of ordinary people as a testimony to the victims of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. He believes that their big format makes them more accessible and gives them a stronger visual impact, conveying his message more effectively. The shift from the collective to the individual portrait was a turning point in his artistic journey: after the social body and the community, he focused on individuality and the model’s psychological dimension.
Many museums, including the Shanghai Museum of Art, the Beijing Museum of Modern Art and the National Art Museum of China, have exhibited his works.
Xu paints miners for the same two reasons that he made this Portrait of a Woman: he believes they are excellent subjects of inspiration and artistic creation, but he has also made it his duty to pay them homage as a sign of respect for what they have undergone. The hardships they endured can be read in the woman’s still-frightened gaze. She is undoubtedly astonished to have attracted so much attention from the painter, when she is probably just one among thousands of workers. This is precisely what Xu seeks: to shed light on ordinary people in order to honour their courage and experience, making them unique by depicting their facial expressions and feelings. The testimony is not only in the gaze, but also in the physical features: the miners’ wrinkled, swollen hands betray the harshness of their daily tasks, but this woman’s skin still looks smooth and youthful, even though she might be a mother. Despite her skin’s purity, her red garment seems to reflect on the right side of her face, creating the illusion of a burn. The binary shades of the face, almost in chiaroscuro, and the saturated colours strengthen the impression of a still fresh wound.
Whether a miner, worker or housewife, the model is above all an ordinary person, emblematic of the Chinese working classes of the time.
Beyond individual testimonies, Xu seeks to inscribe history itself in time for the enlightenment of future generations. "I don't think they really know about it, or understand it, or even talk about it,” he said. “It's important for them to know what their ancestors went through.”
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