January 21, 2009

Reading Space: the Art of Xu Bing at Colgate University

Colgate University

Opening Reception

Clifford Gallery, Little Hall

Institute for the
Creative and Performing Arts
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346

The Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts at Colgate University presents”A Year of Chinese Art” with the exhibition “Reading Space: the Art of Xu Bing”

In this solo exhibition at the Clifford Gallery curated by Carolyn Guile, assistant professor in the Department of Art and Art History, Chinese artist Xu Bing (b. 1955, Chongqing, Sichuan province, China), winner of a MacArthur “genius grant” (1999), presents fifteen works drawn from the last twenty years that explore the interpretability of text and image, including a portion of A Book from the Sky (1987). Emerging from his position as witness to the Cultural Revolution in China, Xu Bing has created works that engage the public and private act of reading. The exhibition continues A Year of Chinese Art at Colgate sponsored by the Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts and made possible in part by the generous support of Robert H.N. Ho ’56. Examples of Xu Bing’s early work, emerging from the Chinese woodblock printmaking tradition, are currently on view in the exhibition, Woodcuts in Modern China, 1937-2998: Toward a Universal Language, co-curated by Joachim Homann and Renee Covalucci at Colgate’s Picker Art Gallery through April 26, 2009. Reading Space: The Art of Xu Bing will be accompanied by an illustrated scholarly catalogue with contributions by Gao Minglu, Jerome Silbergeld, and Carolyn Guile.

“A Year of Chinese Art” at Colgate University

Over the coming year, Colgate’s campus will come alive with a series of events that present twentieth-century Chinese art in both historical and contemporary contexts. Major support for these events is made possible through the generosity of Robert H. N. Ho ’56 in honor of Theodore Herman, Professor of Geography Emeritus and lifelong friend of the Ho family. Exhibitions in the Picker Art Gallery, the Clifford Gallery, the Longyear Museum of Anthropology and Loesch Special Collections; two scholarly catalogues; lectures by visiting artists; performance; and curricular programming will explore contemporary Chinese woodblock print art, installation art, and film. These events will offer an unprecedented opportunity to raise awareness and the profile on the Colgate campus of China’s burgeoning contemporary art scene and the traditions from which it has arisen. Drawing upon Colgate’s own art collections and resources, contributions by contemporary Chinese artists, and the expertise of scholars of Chinese arts and culture at Colgate and neighboring institutions, A Year of Chinese Art at Colgate University will stimulate research and cross-disciplinary curricular opportunities in unique ways, and will encourage students to engage with Chinese artistic culture as an important part of their educational experience. Co-organized by the Picker Art Gallery and the Department of Art and Art History, with the support of the Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts, Asian Studies, the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, Music Department, Longyear Museum and Colgate Libraries, A Year of Chinese Art at Colgate University will focus the strengths and resources of multiple University entities on contemporary Chinese Art for the first time.

Related Events

Exhibition: December 2, 2008 – April 26, 2009
Spring Reception, Wednesday, January 21, 4:30–7:00 pm, Picker Art Gallery
Woodcuts in Modern China, 1937–2008: Towards a Universal Pictorial Language showcases sixty woodblock prints that illustrate key moments in the development of the medium in 20th century China. Co-curated by Joachim Homann and Renee Covalucci. Illustrated catalogue available

Mission and Madness: The Graphic Imagination of Shanghai’s “Modern Sketch” (1934-1937)
December 1 – March 3, 2009 Loesch Special Collections and Archives, Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology
The three-year run of Modern Sketch (Shidai Manhua) defined the golden era of Shanghai’s comic art during the mid-1930’s. The illustrations displayed for the exhibit are drawn from the nearly complete set of over thirty issues of Modern Sketch now housed in Case-Geyer Library’s Loesch Special Collections.

Gao Minglu
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 4:30 pm, Golden Auditorium, Little Hall
Professor Gao Minglu (Department of Art History and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh) has been an active critic, curator, and scholar of contemporary Chinese art since the mid 1980s in both the US and China. He organized the infamous China/Avant-Garde exhibition at the National Art Gallery, Beijing (1989), as well as Inside Out: New Chinese Art (SF MoMA + Asia Society Galleries, NY, 1989). His work explores the relationship between Chinese tradition and international art movements.

Zhang Minjie
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009 4:30 pm, Golden Auditorium, Little Hall
Zhang Minjie is the director of the Chinese National Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, and one of China’s most influential contemporary printmakers. His woodblock reduction prints are featured in the exhibition “Woodcuts in Modern China, 1937-2008.”

ICPA The Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts at Colgate University

The mission of the Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts at Colgate University is to support and promote excellence in the creative and performing arts, and to stimulate critical dialogue on the arts in the liberal arts context. The Institute encourages and supports projects that embody the broad vision and centrality of the arts, and that underscore the interdisciplinary, international and cross-cultural dimensions of creative and performing arts practice.

For further information on The Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts, please contact: DeWitt Godfrey, [email protected]

Image above:
Screenshot, “Book From the Ground” 2003 (ongoing)

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