Yan Pei-Ming — Un enterrement à Shanghai

Exhibition

Painting

Yan Pei-Ming
Un enterrement à Shanghai

Ends in 2 months: October 1, 2019 → January 12, 2020

When he arrived in France in 1980, aged twenty, Yan Pei-Ming immediately headed to Ornans, Gustave Courbet’s territory. Thirty-nine years later, considered one of the most masterful painters of our time, he was inspired by A Burial at Ornans, a masterpiece of realism, to create A Burial in Shanghai, specially designed for the Musée d’Orsay to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Courbet’s birth.

Yan Pei-Ming pays tribute to Gustave Courbet with the creation of a monumental work composed of three paintings entitled A Burial in Shanghai. The central canvas, painted to the exact scale of the A Burial at Ornans (1849-1850),shifts the geographically localised and personal frame of Courbet’s work and replaces it with another meaning. Rather than in Ornans, the scene takes place in Shanghai, where the artist’s mother, depicted here, was buried.

The work also consists of two other monumental canvases that connect the artist’s personal story and the monumentality of political power through a portrait of his deceased mother, an ordinary woman, as a propaganda image; and the spiritual, through an idealised Buddhist landscape, inhabited by animals, which redefines the landscape portrayed by Gustave Courbet.

Through this monumental triptych, Yan Pei-Ming accomplishes a true feat of pictorial technique, while revisiting one of the masterpieces of the Musée d’Orsay collections.