b. Wuhan, China 1964
Currently living and working in Beijing, Zeng Fanzhi is a contemporary Chinese painter. Known for his Expressionist and psychologically probing portraits, he depicts human faces with vivid and lively brushworks that can at times border on abstraction. Zeng often will portray his subjects as seen through a dense thicket of branches, crowding and obscuring the canvas with a chaotic and stylized sense of malaise. He critically explores the rapidly changing face of contemporary Chinese culture, as evidenced in his iconic painting Tiananmen (2004) of Mao. The artist was the subject of a major retrospective at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2013–2014, and represented China in the 2009 Venice Biennale.