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Yu Youhan, 2009.05.27, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 96 1/2 x 81".

Yu Youhan

Yuan Space 元·空间

Yu Youhan, 2009.05.27, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 96 1/2 x 81".

Yu Youhan is best known for his contributions to the 1990s painting movement known as “Political Pop,” but these works remain only one facet in the remarkably productive career of the now seventy-year-old painter. This exhibition put his influence in the ’90s in perspective by displaying a broad selection of Yu’s canvases dating from 1973 through 2012. In view of Yu’s more recent experiments with abstraction, his Political Pop style appears to be merely one stage in a developing mode of expression, one that repeatedly addresses the complex intertwining of political and artistic influence.

Yu’s canvases chronicle a history of imported visual lexicons and techniques ranging from Cézanne to Warhol. The results are often close to direct appropriation, or to the traditional Chinese practice of lin mo, “imitation of masters.” Gauguin 2, 1999, for example, depicts Mao Tse-tung puffing on

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