Exhibit at Loveland Museum/Gallery
(LOVELAND, CO) The Loveland Museum/Gallery will host the exhibit Envision: China Modern from December 10, 2010 through February 13, 2011 in Main Gallery West.
Envision: China Modern features the work of the Luo Brothers, Yan-Zhou Xu and Zhang Peili.
Enjoy the range and depth of contemporary Chinese art through video, photography, sculpture and painting. These artists create imagery that explores the intransience of time and the external influences that define artistic vision. The exhibition defines the trend where modernization has transformed Chinese artists’ consciousness from a focus on an internally directed, nationalist modernity to an interconnected, transnational one–the artistic gaze now looks outward as well as inward.
There will be a gallery talk with artist Yan-Zhou Xu on Saturday, February 5 at 1:00 pm. entitled “Beauty and Meaning: Artistic Influences and Contemporary Realism.” Yan will give a guided tour of his artwork and discuss how, through painstaking technique, he merges his unique perspective with the objectivity of contemporary realism.
The Luo brothers (Luo Weidong, 1963, Luo Weiguo, 1964 and Luo Weibing, 1972) were born in Nanning, in the southern province of Guangxi. They make works on paper, lacquer on wood panel, carved wood panels and statues out of lacquered resin. In all cases the works are humorous creations of kitsch. These works combine images and motifs of Chinese traditional culture with symbols of the new consumerism now omnipresent in their country, blended with the symbols of the communist revolution.
In series such as Welcome to the Famous Brands of the World, the artworks are crammed with traditional symbols and icons, juxtaposed with popular brands such as Coca-Cola, Heineken, Pepsi, Oreo and Marlboro. These brands are ubiquitous, not only in China, but across the world, and in the brothers’ work have replaced the slogans and symbols of political propaganda. Materialistic mentality supersedes the fervor for ideals resulting in a triumph of colors and techniques.
Born in Qingdao, Yan-Zhou Xu obtained his BA degree in 1983 at the Shandong Academy of Arts and became a lecturer there, and later at the Beijing Peili University, University of Regina in Canada and Tulane University in New Orleans.
The topics of Yan-Zhou Xu’s paintings are diverse, ranging from realistic rural paintings, captivating female portraits, imaginative paintings which are close to science fiction and large scale paintings of animals. He incorporates modern ideas into his work, questioning life and society. The changes in Xu’s art, his choice of topics and styles, follow changes in his own experiences.
Starting his fine art career at a very young age, Yan-Zhou Xu quickly became recognized in his native China as an artist whose skills surpassed his years. His paintings constantly push the creative boundaries of traditional realism and delve into the dimensions of the surreal. But it is his ability to portray the many facets of ordinary life with vibrant colors and thought-provoking insight that has helped him receive numerous awards and honors in many countries. Xu consistently displays sensitivity, accuracy and an amazing attention to detail in his work. His use of brilliant color and interesting subjects provides him with important tools to tell his story and describe the nuances of his personal reality.
Zhang Peili (b. 1957) lives and works in Hangzhou. In 1984 he obtained his BA in oil painting from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Today he remains one of China’s foremost video artist and his been shown in galleries throughout the world. He has shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Venice Biennale and is often presented as the “father” of Chinese contemporary video art.
Zhang was one of the initiators of The Pond Group in the 1980s in Hangzhou, known for its existential bent and various experimentations and interventions in public life. After practicing painting and installation in his early years, he turned exclusively to video, and for more than twenty years now has been quietly and meticulously creating a huge body of work.
Known for his clean, incisive style, Zhang uses photography and video to challenge contemporary Chinese social constraints while playfully targeting traditional authoritative roles. Zhang primarily works in video, a medium he deftly uses to bridge the mental and physical, while subtly addressing the viewer.
Coming out of a generation that witnessed the ramifications of the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Massacre and the landmark 1989 China/Avant-Garde exhibition and its subsequent closing by state authorities, Zhang has used the medium of video and photography since the early 1990s to negotiate the myriad changes in contemporary China. He uses video as a medium for provocation, reflection and resonance. His body of work addresses social mores, rampant development, authoritative politics and cultural values, and expands into more universal themes of the individual, time, and the loss of innocence and idealism.
Zhang is currently Dean of the New Media Department of the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou. His works feature in many international collections and have been in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Serpentine Gallery London; the Venice Biennale, 1999 and the Biennale of Sydney, 1998.
The Loveland Museum/Gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Thursdays 10:00 am – 7:00 pm; Saturdays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; Sundays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm; Closed Mondays. For more information or to register for classes, please call the Loveland Museum/Gallery at 970-962-2410. The Loveland Museum/Gallery is located at 503 N Lincoln Avenue, the corner of 5th and Lincoln, in Loveland, Colorado.