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. Zhang currently is living and working in Shanghai. Many important institutions around the world have held his solo exhibitions, including Shanghai Power Station of Art (2020); Galleria Borghese in Italy (upcoming), Royal Academy of Arts in London, Hauser & Wirth in New York, MOCA in Taipei, ShanghART Gallery in Shanghai, Art Basel Unlimited in Switzerland, K11 Art Foundation in Hong Kong, Museo d'Arte contemporanea di Villa Croce in Italy, Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Shanghai Art Museum, Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai, Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland and Ikon Gallery in Birmingham etc; Zhang's group exhibitions have been presented by Fondazione Prada in Milan, The 1st Antarctic Biennale, Centre Pompidou in Paris, PAC-Milan Museum of Contemporary Art in Italy, Villa Reale's Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Italy, Lehmbruck Museum in Germany, Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan, Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada, Contemporary Art Museum of the Rubell Family Collection in U.S.A., Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in the U.K., Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India, The 6th Curitiba Biennial in Brazil, Gwangju Biennale in Korea, The 7th Shanghai Biennale, Yokohama Triennale and Villa Manin-Centre for Contemporary Art Passariano in Italy etc.