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Wang Guangyi (Chinese)


Birth Place: Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China


Who is painter Wang Guangyi?

Wang Guangyi is a Chinese painter and leader of the new art movement. He is most famous for his Great Criticism painting that plays on the images from the Cultural Revolution, often mixing them with New York City advertising images or contemporary brands. He is considered one of China’s “pop masters” and as such Guangyi has become quite popular and wealthy -- putting him at odds with some of the Chinese art establishment. 

Wang Guangyi has mounted solo exhibitions all over the world, including the Galerie Bellefroid in Paris, the Louise Blouin Institute in London, and the Soobin Art Gallery in Singapore. His work is often championed by art critics in the west thanks to its deft mix of political, satirical, and pop influences. 

What kind of art does Wang Guangyi make?

Wang Guangyi makes politically-influenced pop art. His work often has an element of satire or political criticism. Perhaps the best example of this is his piece Great Criticism: Coca-Cola (1991-1994) which features a number of workers from the Cultural Revolution against the background of a Coca Cola advertisement. The juxtaposition of East and West has led to popularity in both art markets. Many Guangyi pieces are in high demand, both for galleries and private collections. 

How did painter Wang Guangyi get started?

Wang Guangyi was born in the remote province of Heilongjiang in China. His father was a railway worker, a job that Guangyi would also have during the Cultural Revolution. After his work on the rails, Wang tried to get into college, he would fail four times before finally being accepted by the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. He graduated with a degree in oil painting in 1984. During the 1980s, Guangyi refined his style, becoming more influenced by western philosophy. His Great Criticism series of the 1990s was a culmination of those influences. That series put him on the map as an artist and is still the most famous period of Guangyi’s art. 

How much are Wang Guangyi paintings worth?

Wang Guangyi paintings are extremely in-demand, especially in the international market and can be worth anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars up into the millions. The most ever paid for a Guangyi Wang painting is $4,136,540 for the piece Mao AO (1988) which was sold on October 13th, 2007. That was nearly four times the high estimate and was a large surprise at auction at the time. It should be no longer, a Wang Guangyi piece is extremely valuable for its aesthetic and artistic appeal as well as its political undertones. Collectors would be wise to snatch up a Guangyi painting if it becomes available. 

Where to buy Wang Guangyi paintings for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Wang Guangyi paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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