Wang Guangyi

Great Criticism - Pop

1992

In Tate Modern

Artist
Wang Guangyi born 1957
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2000 × 3400 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the artist 2020
Reference
T15579

Display caption

Wang grew up during China’s Cultural Revolution, an era of radical cultural, political and social change. In the 1970s he worked as a painter of propaganda posters. During the 1980s, government reforms led to a shift away from China’s previous communist system towards increasing levels of foreign investment and consumerism. Wang sought to unite these opposing forces on the canvas by bringing together popular political and commercial symbols in a style that came to be known as ‘political pop’. In doing so, he aimed to depict the reality of Chinese society. Chinese communist imagery and Western logos and brands appear together, alongside numbers representing Chinese barcodes.

Gallery label, November 2021

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