Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Contemporary Chinese Art class at Carnegie Museum of Art in July.

Ding Yi, Appearance of Crosses, via Open Ground Blog (some images not safe for work)

The Carnegie Museum of Art will hold a two-session Contemporary Chinese Art class in July.
From the museum's website:
This two week class explores the major trends, artists, and movements that together form the history of contemporary Chinese art since the late 1970s. In response to Carnegie Museum of Art's exhibition of Ai Weiwei's Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads on view in the Hall of Architecture this summer, the class is organized around a major moment in the life of the artist: his return to Beijing after living in New York City for twelve years. The biography and work of Ai Weiwei are used not as the sole representative of contemporary Chinese art as a whole, but as a catalyst to explore the complex institutional, political, creative, and economic networks that have sustained its development over the last 35 years.

The first class examines developments in the art world before Ai's return to Beijing in 1993, after the death of Mao Zedong, throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, with a particular geographic focus on Beijing. Important groups, movements, and exhibitions including the formation of the Stars group, one of China's first avant-garde art collectives which Ai himself helped to found; the utopian '85 movement; the 1989 China/Avant-Garde Exhibition; and the subsequent governmental suppression of cultural activity that characterized the early 1990s.

The second class focuses on Chinese art after Ai's return to Beijing including his influence on the domestic avant-garde art scene, his promotion of underground exhibitions, his publication of art books, and his more recent role as a political activist. In the second half of the 1990s the government began to embrace some forms of contemporary art as a resource for soft power in a global context. Ai used his knowledge of Western contemporary art and his domestic and international influence to provocatively push forward avant-garde, challenging, and underground art forms that resisted appropriation by either market or political powers. Since that time Ai has risen to international fame on a scale unprecedented for any other contemporary Chinese artist.
The two-session classes meet on Wednesdays (July 13 and 20) or Saturdays (July 16 and 23) and are led by Dr. Madeline Eschenberg of the University of Pittsburgh's History of Art & Architecture Department. Reg