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Yue Minjun (Chinese)


Birth Place: Daqing, China


Who is painter Yue Minjun?

Yue Minjun is a Chinese contemporary painter and sculptor, best known for his series of laughing self-portraits and installation art pieces. These “laughing faces” have helped cement him as one of the most popular members of the Cynical Realist art movement, though Yue himself has said that he doesn’t identify with that genre and aesthetic.

His work has been featured in many different famed galleries in Asia, specifically Singapore, Honk Kong, and Beijing, and he currently holds the record for the most expensive work ever sold by a Chinese contemporary artist. He has mounted exhibitions all over the world, including the Queens Museum of Art in New York and the Fondation Cartier pour l”art Contemporain in Paris.

What kind of art does Yue Minjun make?

Yue Minjun is a painter whose darkly humorous work has been closely associated with the Cynical Realist movement in China. This movement is defined by its cynical attitude toward the general art community and its use of realism as a postmodern tool to define those values. While Yue is perhaps best known for his paintings, his sculptures are also quite popular. The piece A-maze-ing Laughter (2009) in Vancouver has been featured on numerous popular television shows, including a notable X-Files piece. His work often is defined by an uneasiness that seems to permeate the otherwise nice and facile aesthetics.

How did painter Yue Minjun get started?

Yue Minjun was born in 1962, the child of a pair of oil field workers. Originally in school to become an electrician, the young Minjun spent 20 years working during the day and painting at night. It was in the late 1980s when Minjun would begin to paint the laughing faces that would make him popular. In 1990 he moved to Beijing, to the Chaoyang district which was famous for its large population of artists. In the latter part of the decade, Minjun’s star would begin to rise and by the end of the 20th century, he was one of China’s most popular painters.

How much are Yue Minjun paintings worth?

Yue Minjun paintings are worth anywhere from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. He has had several paintings break the multi-million mark in the past decade and currently has the record for the most expensive painting ever sold by a Chinese artist. The most ever paid for a Yue Minjun painting is $6,934,020 for the piece Gweong-Gweong (1993) on May 24th, 2008. It narrowly beats out Execution (1995) which had sold for $5,977,020 less than a year earlier on October 12th, 2007.

Where to buy Yue Minjun paintings for sale?

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How to value Yue Minjun 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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