Ai Weiwei

Beijing China 1957, lives and works in Beijing and Berlin

Hanging Man in Porcelain
porcelain in Huang Huali wooden frame
50 x 43,5 x 3,5 cm

Ai Weiwei’s first one-man show, in New York in 1988, included a portrait of Marcel Duchamp, consisting of a wire hanger twisted into a silhouette of this French-American artist who, along with Andy Warhol, is one of Ai’s greatest idols.
Duchamp is best known for his use of ‘readymades’ – everyday objects introduced into an art context. In Hanging Man in Porcelain, Ai refers back to his earlier work, but he adds another dimension to the updated Duchamp portrait by executing it in porcelain, a material that is generally associated with delicacy and fragility. Here, though, it is also the concrete material of Duchamp’s famous Fountain, a porcelain urinal that Duchamp adorned with a fake signature (R. Mutt) and submitted to the Society of Independent Artists show in New York in 1917.