As part of its ongoing efforts to expand its contemporary Chinese holdings, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has added an untitled Zeng Fanzhi painting from 2018 to its permanent collection. The painting, which was purchased with funds from patrons Dominic and Ellen Ng, will go on view this month in the museum’s Ahmanson Building.
Zeng’s monumental painting, which measures almost 12 feet wide, is part of a new series of abstracted landscapes. The artist rose to prominence in the 1990s and became known for paintings of hospital scenes and blurred portraits of urban Chinese men. A series in which he abstracts van Gogh’s self-portraits were the subject of an exhibition at a museum devoted to the Dutch artist in Amsterdam in 2017.
“Chinese contemporary art has emerged as one of the most compelling areas of the global art landscape,” Dominic Ng, who is the CEO of East West Bank, said in a statement. “The addition of a piece by Zeng Fanzhi—who is considered by many to be China’s greatest living artist—exemplifies Michael Govan’s vision to showcase a broad range of artistic voices and contributes to the ongoing cultural exchange between the East and the West.”
In the past couple of years, LACMA has been rapidly working on building out its programming and holdings related to contemporary Chinese art. Last March, at a panel during Art Basel Hong Kong, ARTnews “Top 200 Collector” Budi Tek revealed that LACMA had reached a deal with his Yuz Museum in Shanghai to collaborate on exhibitions that would see works from Tek’s storied collection travel to L.A. The museum also recently announced that it has received a promised gift of 400 contemporary ink paintings from Geneva-based collectors Gérard and Dora Cognié.
“Dominic and Ellen are steadfast supporters of LACMA and our collaborations with Chinese arts institutions and artists,” LACMA director Michael Govan said in a statement. “Their exemplary support for the acquisition of Zeng Fanzhi’s Untitled to LACMA’s growing collection of contemporary Chinese art underscores their commitment to Chinese art and artists, both in the United States and China.”