Born in 1963 in Hebei Province, China, Yang Shaobin makes realistic figurative paintings that often disintegrate into Francis Bacon-esque Surrealism. An untitled work from 2007, for example, depicts a man's head floating disembodied on a large dried-blood-colored canvas. The top of the man's head is rendered realistically, but the bottom half of his face is obfuscated by expressionistic whirls of paint.
"DNA" (2005), however, is a Social Realist-style tableaux of historical figures arranged in front of a bright blue sky. Though he began his career as a Realist, Yang began experimenting with this present hybrid of realism and abstraction in 1998. Critic Sebastian Preuss has written of Yang's style: "His deep pictorial pathos impressively contradicts Neo-Pop, which predominates in all Western countries..." This oversized, slipcased volume is a survey of the highlights of his work to date, and includes an essay by critic Pi Li.
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