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Fang Lijun

The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar

Born in 1963, Chinese artist Fang Lijun was still a student when his work was included in 1989’s milestone exhibition “No U-Turn,” at the China Art Gallery in Beijing. In the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Fang emerged as a pioneer of “cynical realism,” a style that writer Ben Davidson has characterized as a “mix of ennui and rogue humor.” And while he is still best known for his figurative paintings and wood-block prints—in particular those featuring his trademark bald Everyman—the artist has focused increasingly on sculpture in recent years.

Fang’s first solo museum exhibition in the US, staged recently in a thirty-five-hundred-square-foot space at the Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Belmar (a new venue near Denver), was dominated by bronze casts covered in gold leaf, its arresting centerpiece an untitled field of fifteen thousand tiny heads dated 2003–2006. Some of Fang’s

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