WANXIN ZHANG was born in ChangChun, China, and spent his formative years in the 1960’s and 70’s under Mao’s regime. He was part of the first generation to receive a formal art education in college after to the Cultural Revolution in 1976. In 1985 he graduated from the prestigious LuXun Academy of Fine Art with a degree from their sculpture program.
During his early years, Zhang participated in many avant-garde activities and exhibitions in China. His work was presented at the National Museum in Beijing, which then collected his prize-winning sculptures.
In 1992, after Zhang established his art career as a sculptor in China, he emigrated to the United States to continue his development, and to study at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA. Zhang was a recipient of the Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant in 2006, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2004.
Further, Zhang’s work has been featured in solo museum exhibitions at the University of Wyoming Art Museum (2006), the Fresno Art Museum in California (2007), the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art in Michigan (2008), the Arizona State University Museum (2010), the Bellevue Arts Museum (2011) and the Peninsula Museum of Art (2015), among other venues.
His sculptures have also been included in the 22nd UBC Sculpture Biennial in Japan (2007), the Taipei Ceramics Biennial in Taiwan (2008), the Da Tong City 2nd International Sculpture Biennial in China (2013) and the inaugural Anren Biennale in China (2017). In 2017, the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco acquired multiple “brick” works from Zhang’s Wall series for the museum’s permanent collection, as part of its commitment to expanding its collection of contemporary art. In 2020, the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, acquired the major sculpture Teapot Without Handle (2016) for its permanent collection.
In March 2019, Zhang was the subject of a major mid-career retrospective and accompanying monograph at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco.
Zhang’s sculptures have been included in books such as Confrontational Ceramics by Judith Schwartz, and his work was highlighted in Clay in Art. His sculpture has been reviewed in major art magazines such as Art in America, Sculpture, Yishue and American Ceramics. In 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle selected Zhang’s exhibition at the Richmond Art Center as one of the Top 10 Exhibitions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Zhang lives and works in San Francisco, California and has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 2013.