Mao in New York, 1995

Yu Youhan
China, b. 1943
Mao in New York, 1995
Oil on canvas
Yuz Foundation Collection

Yu Youhan is acclaimed for his series of brightly colored portraits of Mao Zedong, which were part of the Political Pop movement of the 1990s that fused references to Socialist Realist propaganda imagery with Pop art styles. The artist incorporates decorative floral and geometric patterning as well as folk-art aesthetics to soften his depictions of the figure, in an effort to humanize the political figure, while also alluding to the Chinese countryside, where many Chinese citizens were forcefully sent during the Cultural Revolution.