Liu Ye

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Liu Ye (b. 1964) lives and works in Beijing. He came of age during the Cultural Revolution, a period between 1966 and 1976 when all art was at the service of the state and individual expression was explicitly forbidden. However, he had access to a collection of banned books kept hidden by his father, a children’s book author, including a selection of Western fairy tales. He went on to study industrial design and mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1986-89) before moving to Germany to pursue a Master of Fine Arts at the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin (1990-94). He later spent time in Amsterdam as an artist-in-residence at the Rijksakademie, where he encountered works of art by Piet Mondrian, Johannes Vermeer, Paul Klee and Dick Bruna. Affected by the color schemes and patterns of Mondrian and the colorful illustrations of his childhood, the artist developed his own distinguishable style and started painting playful cartoon-like characters in an adult environment. In 2007, Kunstmuseum Bern hosted his first major solo exhibition in Europe, which was followed by an exhibition at the Mondriaanhuis in the Netherlands (2016). The artist’s work has been included in important group shows at the Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam (2011-12); the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2012); the Long Museum, Shanghai (2012-13); the Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2014); and the Venice Biennale (2017). Liu Ye’s paintings are represented in public and private collections worldwide, including the China Art Museum, Shanghai; M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Shanghai Art Museum; Today Art Museum, Beijing; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai. The artist has had solo exhibitions at Sperone Westwater in 2006, 2009 and 2012.

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Liu Ye
Composition with Votalin 25, 2009
acrylic on canvas
11 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (30 x 40 cm)
SW 09166

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Liu Ye
Bamboo Bamboo Broadway, 2011-2012
acrylic on canvas; 9 panels
236 x 354 inches (6 x 9 meters)
SW 11260

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Bamboo Bamboo Broadway, 2011-2012
acrylic on canvas; 9 panels
236 x 354 inches (6 x 9 meters)
SW 11260
detail view
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Pinocchio, 2011
acrylic on canvas
11 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches (30,2 x 20,6 cm)
SW 11261
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Small Painter, 2009-2010
acrylic on canvas
11 7/8 x 8 inches (30,2 x 20,3 cm)
SW 10018
Private Collection
 

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Liu Ye
Banned Book 3, 2010
acrylic on canvas
7 7/8 x 11 3/4 inches (20 x 30 cm)
SW 10093

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Bird on Bird, 2011
acrylic on canvas
8 x 10 inches (22 x 27,5 cm)
SW 12208
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Composition with Bamboo No. 5, 2012
acrylic on canvas
86 5/8 x 141 3/4 inches (220 x 360 cm) overall
SW 12209
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Girl with Toy Bricks, 2007
acrylic on canvas
31 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches (80 x 60 cm)
SW 08429

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Banned Book 2, 2008
acrylic on canvas
31 1/2 x 39 3/8 inches (80 x 100 cm)
SW 08435
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Coming, 2008
acrylic on canvas
23 5/8 x 17 3/4 inches (60 x 45 cm)
SW 08432
Private Collection

 

Liu Ye
Going, 2008
acrylic on canvas
23 5/8 x 17 3/4 inches (60 x 45 cm)
SW 08431
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Miss, 2008
acrylic on canvas
55 1/4 x 63 inches (140,3 x 160 cm)
SW 08434

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Leave Me in the Dark, 2008
acrylic on canvas
86 5/8 x 118 inches (220 x 300 cm)
SW 09033

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Once upon a time in Broadway, 2006
acrylic and oil on canvas
82 3/4 x 82 3/4 inches (210,2 x 210,2 cm)
SW 06276
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
International Blue, 2006
acrylic and oil on canvas, 2 panels
82 5/8 x 165 1/4 inches (209,9 x 419,7 cm) overall
SW 06277
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Boogie Woogie, little girl in New York, 2005
acrylic and oil on canvas
82 3/4 x 82 3/4 inches (210,2 x 210,2 cm)
SW 06275

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Temptress, 2006
acrylic and oil on canvas
23 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches (60,3 x 45 cm)
SW 06297

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Who is afraid of Madame L, 2005
acrylic and oil on canvas
39 1/4 x 31 3/4 inches (99,7 x 80,6 cm)
SW 06279
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Banned Book, 2006
acrylic and oil on canvas
39 3/8 x 31 1/2 inches (100 x 80 cm)
SW 06278
Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Snow White, 2006
acrylic and oil on canvas
82 5/8 x 82 5/8 inches (209,9 x 209,9 cm)
SW 06226

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Night, 2005
acrylic and oil on canvas
86 5/8 x 70 3/4 inches (220 x 179,7 cm)
SW 06274

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Sword, 2001-02
acrylic and oil on canvas
71 x 141 7/8 inches (180,3 x 360,4 cm)
SW 06296

Private Collection

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Liu Ye
Reading Girl, 2008
acrylic on canvas
29 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches (75 x 60 cm)
SW 08430

Artist exhibitions

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Signs/Words
15 January – 11 April 2015
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Liu Ye
Bamboo Bamboo Broadway
6 September - 27 October 2012
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Portraits / Self-Portraits from the 16th to the 21st Century
12 January - 25 February 2012
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Liu Ye
Leave Me in the Dark
7 November – 19 December 2009
Sperone Westwater, New York
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Liu Ye
Temptations
14 September - 28 October 2006
Sperone Westwater, New York

Artist publications

Artist press

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Liu Ye
By Scott Indrisek
Winter 2013
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Liu Ye's Bamboo Modernism
By Lilly Wei
7 September 2012
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Liu Ye: Leave Me in the Dark at Sperone Westwater Gallery
By Robert C. Morgan
1 December 2009
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Liu Ye
Interview by Kris Wilton
13 November 2009
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The Beautiful and the Banned
By Anna Sansom
Fall 2006
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A Day in the Life of: Liu Ye
By Barbara Pollack
September 2006
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Press Kit