Liu Ye: The Book Paintings

Liu Ye: The Book Paintings

Product Type: Bargain Books


List price: $60.00

Available: 7


copies bought in the last week

The Chinese artist Liu Ye’s meticulous, colorful canvases convey his love of literature in the first publication dedicated to his paintings of books.

Liu is known for his precise, deftly rendered representational paintings. Drawn from contemporary culture and old master painting, his wide-ranging visual touchstones include Piet Mondrian, Miffy the Bunny, Balthus, and Rogier van der Weyden. In this new publication devoted to his book paintings, the artist examines the book as both a physical object and cultural totem. Playing with geometry and perspective, Liu creates extraordinary and disorienting portraits of this most familiar subject.

Liu’s Book Painting series, begun in 2013, depicts close-up views of books that are turned open to reveal empty pages, an approach that emphasizes the object’s form over its content. Rendering books’ material structure—endpapers, binding, spine—in sensual detail, these paintings indicate an obsession with the book as an object and a lifelong love of literature. Liu’s father was a children’s book author who introduced him to Western writers at a young age, fueling his curiosity and imagination. Many of the books in his father’s collection were banned in Cultural Revolution–era China and the artist read them secretly throughout his childhood. This formative experience figures in his popular Banned Books series and in his book paintings in general.

Published on the occasion of a solo exhibition presented at David Zwirner New York in 2020, this catalogue includes new writing by the acclaimed poet Zhu Zhu, who traces the evolution of the book form in Liu’s work, as well as an interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

ISBN: 9781644230367

Published Date: September 28, 2021

Publisher: David Zwirner Books

Language: English

Page Count: 192

Size: 11.34" l x 8.49" w x 0.93" h