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Wu Guanzhong retrospective Singapore Art Museum – New York Times review

Posted by artradar on May 19, 2009


CHINESE ART SINGAPORE

Some of the best arts writing on the web is produced by the New York Times. Coverage of art in Asia is rare unfortunately which makes this review of the celebrated and influential 90 year-old Wu Guanzhong’s retrospective at Singapore Art Museum a must-read piece.

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In this article Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop deftly explains how his oeuvre evolved in response to his experiences as a student in Paris and his later travails on his return to China where Communist authorities who exalted the Soviet Socialist Realist Style, branded him a ‘bourgeois formalist’ and ultimately destroyed much of his earlier work at the start of the Cultural Revolution.

 

Wu Guanzhong, Pandas

Wu Guanzhong, Pandas

“My father believes that this series of exhibitions are indeed the most important exhibitions of his entire life because they show the full spectrum of his artistic career, from the 1950s to last year. These are also what he considers his absolute best works, which he had kept because he had always planned to give them to museums, for all to see,” said his son, Wu Keyu, 62, who represented his father at the opening of the Singapore exhibition because, he said, the elder Mr. Wu was too frail to travel from Beijing, where he lives.

As a teacher and essayist as well as artist, Wu Guanzhong’s influence has been pivotal on the development of art in China and he  is particularly renowned for

 ”bridging together the Chinese art emphasis placed on the quality of lines and the Western art emphasis on color and the representation of the visual field,” said Kwok Kian Chow, the director of the Singapore Art Museum and the show’s co-curator.

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