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 Lu Jian Jun  (1960 - )

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Lived/Active: China      Known for: Painting

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Biography from Zantman Art Galleries:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Lu Jian Jun (b. 1960)

In Lu Jian Jun, China has produced an artist of imagination, a man with a distinctive and unquestionable mastery of his materials and a palpable insight into the human condition.  Lu was born in 1960 in mainland China and from an early age demonstrated an uncanny ability to draw and paint. This eventually led to a degree at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and finally a position as a professor at Shandong Academy of Painting.  The level of technical training in traditional media and materials he received in China would have been virtually inaccessible (or simply impossible) in the West.  The discipline, focus and intensity of such training is often compared to late 19th century Russian academicism.  Professor Lu, for example, has an impressive familiarity with Russian academic figures such as Ilya Repin and his contemporaries.

Russian cultural sources including Nabokov's Lolita or Tolstoy's Anna Karenina inform paintings such as Xiao Er of Xian, an enigmatic meditation on innocence, love and sincerity, evoking a sentiment similar to these Russian literary giants.  Still, the ethnicity of his models, real or imagined, as well as the textiles and props remain somehow incontrovertibly Chinese.

In our observation, Dante Gabriel Rosetti and the pre-Raphaelite movement have influenced Lu most obviously in their brilliant use of imagery as allegory.  Yet, while Rossetti filled his canvas with extraordinary and other worldly devises, Lu depicts objects of the common place which show signs of much use, family heirlooms, large jewelry in simple shapes, like the building blocks of a sculptor's maquette.

The American nineteenth century artists James MacNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent also share a kinship with Lu.  Certainly the women, such as the reclining figure in Antique Dressing Table, reveal a sense of contemplation both relaxed and formal.  Bold and provocative in her positioning Japanese Princess is as timeless as Sargent's Madame X.  Lu surpasses past masters with his great sensitivity in the placement and orientation of hands, feet and faces as echoed in paintings like China Queen.  This composition's highly textural use of palette knives makes the outskirts of this large canvas an abstract masterpiece, an achievement not dissimilar to Whistler's large Nocturnes or his At the Piano.  The depth and complexity of emotion in these uncluttered masterpieces of the past and present are tremendously inviting to the imagination.

Professor Lu's paintings have been exhibited and awarded prizes in numerous Chinese and foreign art shows (France, Germany, Japan, etc.) and have found their way simply by word of mouth into some of America's most significant private collections.  Reproductions of his artwork have been published in newspapers and periodicals such as Chinese Oil Painting, Fine Arts, People's Daily, China Daily, Beijing Evening News, American Overseas Chinese Daily, Art News, and many others.

Weinstein Galleries

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