Eli Klein Fine Art Presents ZHANG DALI: A RETROSPECTIVE, Now Through 2/18

Eli Klein Fine Art, one of America's leading galleries specializing in Chinese Contemporary Art, is pleased to announce it will present a retrospective exhibition featuring the work of one of China's most dynamic artists, Zhang Dali. Showcasing pieces from his most celebrated series, this exhibition reflects on the unprecedented growth and development China experienced when it expanded its contacts with the rest of the world in the 90s. This exhibition will be on view at Eli Klein Fine Art through February 18, 2013.

Much of Zhang Dali's art focuses on the rapidly changing environment in China. His series, Dialogue, and the slightly later series, Demolition, highlight the forced modernization of Beijing. His spray-painted outlines of human heads-which evolved into the series Demolition, where the inner section of his heads were physically demolished--make a silent but biting protest about the destruction of traditional Beijing.

Zhang Dali's work is extremely versatile as his sculpture, Chinese Offspring, illustrates. The artist created this body of work to recognize and celebrate the Chinese migrant worker's dedication to China's growth. In these pieces, he explores the massive disparity between poverty and wealth. Since 2003, he created over 100 of these life-size, resin-cast figures and each one possesses a unique tattoo--the artist issues each with a number, title, and his own signature of legitimacy.

In his Slogan series, Zhang Dali appropriates various Chinese propagandistic slogans from the streets of Beijing into his paintings. Though civilians feel numb to these omnipresent slogans, they are, subconsciously deeply influenced.

In 2003, Zhang Dali started researching historical photographs released by officially sanctioned publications and created Second History, a series of 130 works. The artist collected these historical images--which were altered by the government for propaganda purposes--and then matched them with images originating from the same negative, examining the ways the alterations were utilized. This body of work allows many Chinese to see for the first time the reality behind the images they are so familiar with.




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by Barry Kostrinsky