This book, which is a survey of recent Chinese artists to about 2005, confirmed what I felt in the two collections I saw in Barcelona. One was a photography collection and the other, in the Miro museum was a general collection of current major Chinese artists.
One from the Miro (the artist might be Luo’s Brother; this was a poster on the outside of the museum advertising the exhibition:
I was wondering as I wandered through the very varied works whether I was looking at the future of art. Not so much even the actual art in front of me but whether what I saw was the grand beginning.
Think of it. Not only do you have a huge population which means many artists but you have a culture in flux and just loosening its bonds. You can see the influence of Western art all through this but you also see something unusual, non-ironic dynamism. This a culture breaking through and finding its wings. This is exciting.
The book gives me similar feelings as wandering through a book of Western art covering about 1900 through 1940. And though I like more recent artists as well, I find that time to be almost impossibly rich. But back to China. Over the next few weeks and interspersed with Barcelona writings and the other diversions that come up daily it seems, I will be exploring Chinese art.
To give you a taste but very little sense of the range:
First three from Zhou Chun Ya’s Green Dog series (these are fairly large at about two by three metres):
And two from Zhao Kai Lin (apparently exposure to Andrew Wyeth‘s paintings in the 70s in China influenced quite a few painters):
And lastly another fairly representational artist Cui Guotai with this tragic downed airliner looking like a fallen beast.
Next entry I might focus in on the curious, and something that seemed to be strong in contemporary Chinese art, finding a face and then using it for all the bodies in the work. But later.