Start your day with a good laugh with L"Ombre du fou rire, a series of paintings peopled by enigmatically laughing characters, the first major exhibition in Europe dedicated to the Chinese artist Yue Minjun.
Born in 1962 in the city of Daqing in Heilongjiang Province in China, Yue Minjun is an icon of contemporary Chinese painting. Considered one of the protagonists of "Cynical Realism," an art movement that emerged after the student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989, he began developing his own distinctive iconography in the 1990s, which combines pictorial references with historical references.
Yue Minjun's paintings are immediately recognizable: they are painted in bright colors on large canvases and featured almost exclusively laughing male figures, all which are self-portraits presented either as a single figure or replicated over and over again to form a battalion of grinning frozen-faced clones. These figures appear in grotesque poses or in mock execution scenes, creating an atmosphere of tension that oscillates between the lighthearted and the outrageous, the mundane and the excessive, offering an often implicit satire of contemporary Chinese society.
Yue Minjun's participation in the Venice Biennale in 1999 brought him worldwide fame and opened the doors of the international art market to him. Today, Yue Minjun is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation.
Yue Minjun, L'Ombre du fou rire is currently on exhibit at the Fondation Cartier, from November 14, 2012 to March 17, 2013.
© Yue MinjunI am Dragon-3, 2008
© Yue MinjunMemory-2, 2000
© Yue MinjunUntitled, 1998
© Yue MinjunWater, 1998
© Yue Minjun
© Yue Minjun
Photo courtesy Yue Minjun Studio