毛焰

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毛焰

毛焰

毛焰,1968年出生于湖南,是中国当代最优秀的肖像画家之一。受其父亲影响,毛焰自幼学画,十几岁时已经掌握了极其娴熟的技法,以至于在考入美院之前就被称为天才。著名批评家栗宪庭曾在《写实主义的探险》一文中将毛焰列为中国新写实主义的代表,称其刻画了“一个个表情正在消失的时代肖像”。

灰色调、敏感的造型以及斑驳的笔触,使毛焰的作品无论在自然光下还是展厅灯光下都不会丢失画面的细节和生动性。毛焰探讨的不是“肖像”的意义而是“肖像画”的意义,是借用人物的轮廓和动作来完成线条、颜色、构图的实体化,是在写实主义的框架下探讨深幽微妙的人类精神世界。毛焰的作品曾多次受邀参加国内外的大型展览,其中包括2010年上海民生现代美术馆的开馆展“中国当代艺术三十年历程”;2009年上海美术馆的“意犹未尽:毛焰个展”;2008年巴西圣保罗国家美术馆的“中国:建构与解构”;2008年比利时布鲁塞尔BEIVUE美术馆的“今日中国”;以及2002年法国巴黎皮尔卡丹博物馆的“巴黎:北京”等。

 

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Mao Yan

 

Mao Yan (b.1968, Hunan Province, China) is considered as one of China's outstanding contemporary portrait artists. Under his father's influence, Mao Yan began studying painting at an early age. By the time he was a teenager he had already mastered advanced techniques, and his talent was recognized even before he was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1991, after graduating from the Oil Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Mao Yan began teaching at Nanjing University of the Arts, where he began to delve into portraiture. In his article Explorations in Realism, renowned art critic Li Xianting stated Mao Yan's works depict the "portraits of a generation whose emotions are gradually disappearing".

Gray tones, delicate molding, and mottled brushstrokes allow Mao Yan's works to retain all detail and vitality, whether displayed under natural or gallery lighting. Around 1995, Mao Yan's paintings began to move from the standards of conventional portraiture toward smaller, quieter pieces. His impudent, flaming colors and warm browns gradually became sober - infiltrated by gray, ashen tones that concealed the paintings foundations. At the end of the 1990s, Mao Yan began using Thomas, an exchange student from Luxembourg, as a model, spending ten years on one portrait. The series continues to this day, but the artist also continues to pursue a more dynamic path. He gains a sense of inherent classicism and security from using familiar symbols, yet only with unceasing concentration and focus can a painter's style be used as a tool to give form to abstract reflection, and that still requiring a callous inhibition of ever‐present, hovering uncertainty. In his recent works, Mao Yan focus on the experiment of depicting female portrait and still life, rendering his homage to Romanticism masters such as Goya and Delacroix.

The meaning in Mao Yan's endeavors does not lie in the idea of "portraits". Rather, his works are "paintings of portraits" - borrowing the contour and movement of a character in order to substantialize outline, color, and composition. It is within the framework of realism that such deep, subtle inquiries into human mentality can be made. In the end, a simple painting is no more than another way of viewing the world; the significance of Mao Yan's works is founded precisely in this point, as it has not inherited the static and noise of the generation.

Mao Yan's work has been displayed in large‐scale exhibitions both at home and abroad, including Mao Yan at Pace Beijing (2013), Face to Face: Portraits and Interiors‐ Chinese Dutch Painting Exhibition at Today Art Museum, Beijing (2013), 30 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art at the Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai (2010), Longing for More; Mao Yan Solo Exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum (2009), China: Construction and Deconstruction at the National Gallery of St. Paul, Brazil (2008), Todays' China at Beivue Museum in Brussels (2008), and Paris: Beijing at Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris (2008).

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