For ZHANG Enli, painting itself is a vital activity, whether his brushes are illustrating human activities or everyday objects.
As a painter who depicts the elements of daily life, ZHANG devotes the same attention and passion into every object, whether it is a bucket, a wardrobe or a person. Each painting is not only a re-presentation but an expression as well. The expressive lines and curves of his painting style are influenced by traditional Chinese brush techniques, but are always underpinned by the structure of pencil-drawn grids. Immersed in the inherent space of the canvas, some objects within the paintings seem to almost dissolve in to the thin layers of paint.
In his series of ‘Space Paintings’ ZHANG focuses on the artistic language of painting, and works directly on to the walls to create an immersive and nostalgic environment. Removed objects are often featured by the traces they have left in the space, encouraging the viewer to reflect and visualize upon the ‘existence’ and ‘nothingness’ within the work.
Zhang Enli was born in Jilin province in 1965. He graduated from Wuxi Technical University, Arts and Design Institute in 1989 and currently living in Shanghai. Zhang Enli’s work has been featured in numerous important exhibitions, including Galleria Borghese, Rome (forthcoming in 2019); Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2018); Hauser & Wirth, New York (2018); Firstsite, Colchester, England (2017); ShanghART, Shanghai, China (2015); K11 Art Foundation, HK (2014); Villa Croze, Genoa, Italy (2013); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England (2013); Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2011); and Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, England (2009), a presentation which travelled to Kunsthalle Bern, Berne, Switzerland (2009) etc.
Zhang Enli’s work was also featured in the Museum of Modern Art Antwerp, Belgium (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); the Yokohama Triennale, Japan (2014); Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, U.K.(2013); Kochi-Muziris, Kochi, India (2012); The First Chinese Oil Painting Biennial, Instituto Paranaense de Arte, Curitiba, Brazil (2011); The Eighth Gwangju Biennale, Korea (2010); The 7th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai(2008); Villa Manin- Centre for Contemporary Art Passariano, Italy (2006) etc.