Published on February 18, 2014
Chen Yifei ( 陳逸飛 , 1946-2005) is a central figure in the development of Chinese oil painting and is one of China's most renowned contemporary artists. Chen Yifei was born in 1946 in Ningbo, in coastal Zhejiang Province. When he was a child, his family moved to Shanghai, where he was to study Russian artists and Socialist Realism, China's official art style at the time. In 1965 he graduated from the Shanghai College of Art. In 1980 he became one of the first artists from the People's Republic of China permitted to work and study art in the United States. Chen Yifei, who often said he arrived with just $38 in his pocket, soon enrolled at Hunter College and found work as an art restorer. In 1983, even before he earned his master's degree at Hunter, his solo exhibition at the Hammer Galleries created a sensation by selling out in the first week. Later, he painted on contract for the Hammer Galleries. When Chen returned to China in 1990, he settled in Shanghai, where some critics say he turned increasingly commercial. Although he often traveled to Tibet and painted Impressionist landscapes in his native Zhejiang Province, he had also transformed himself into a style entrepreneur, decorating hotels, creating fashion brands and selling high-end clothing and chic home furnishings. He even oversaw one of the country's biggest modeling agencies.
Auction price realized $857,002
Christie's price realized HK$61,140,000 ($7,912,941)
Christie's price realized HK$9,620,000 ($1,244,540)
Chen Yifei "Duet" sold 31 million yuan (5.109947 million U.S. dollars) for the highest price on the spot
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