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Wang Guangyi

Reasoning With Idols

By Andrew Cohen

Frozen Northern Wastelands, 1985, oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm. Collection of the artist.

Wang Guangyi is one of the most recognizable figures on today’s contemporary art stage, globally renowned for his combination of avant-garde art and impressive commercial success. This contrast should come as no surprise, as he encourages the recognition of such contradictions. Wang’s art embraces seemingly antithetical elements—Pop with Tao, communism with capitalism, Christ with Mao—in order to transcend differences and “rationally” analyze their interrelations. Nowadays, Wang enjoys rock-star status, with all…

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