ArtReview | Zhang Yunyao at Qiao Space, Shanghai

Julie Chun, ArtReview, 1 Apr 2020

"Entering this exhibition of paintings by Zhang Yunyao is a confounding experience. The Shanghai-based artist offers viewers a visual assault of classical Greek and Roman forms, which have little context in his homeland – particularly for general audiences who may not be aware that such forms provided a model for socialist-realism productions that dominated Chinese art during the period of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76). As you move from one enormous panel to the next, Zhang’s figures materialise in hyperrealist glory, hand-rendered not in oil on canvas but rather graphite on felt, an unconventional medium that has engrossed the artist since 2011 for its challenging tendency to smudge and soil."