academic research

Understand Gu Yuan...

2019-10-15 11 people interested

There seems to be a special attachment between us - this is not limited to certain incidents or artworks, but more accurately speaking, Gu Yuan and his art is a coordinate in my idea matrix, like the important “points” on a chess manual. ...More

Around Leonardo. Pupils, followers, imitators...

2019-09-10 71 people interested

This is an exhibition that— in the year of the celebrations of the five-hundred-year anniversary of the death of the Renaissance genius — focuses on the artistic and cultural climate generated by him in his time that from today (and until August 25) proposes in Venice the Levi Foundation in Palazzo GiustinianLolin. “Leonardo e la sua grande scuola” (“Leonardo and his great school”)— this is the title of the exhibition curated by Nicola Barbatelli— exhibits in fact 24 works that illustrate above all the personality of the so-called “leonardeschi”(“Leonardesques”), some of who attended his workshop in Lombardy, when he was in the service of Lodovico il Moro, and the works by the “leonardeschi” largely crystallized on the master’s style, remaining at a sidereal distance from him. However, they had the great merit of spreading, through their travels, the innovative style of Leonardo also in areas outside from his journeys, like Giovanni Agostino da Lodi (not present in the exhibition) in Venice, Bernardino Luini in Switzerland or Cesare daSesto in southern Italy and Rome.This is also remembered by a historian of Venetian art such as Giovanna NepiScirèin one of the essays accompanying the exhibition’s catalogue (still in print).The works of some of them, from Bernardino Luini to Cesare da Sesto, to the beloved pupil Salaì, to Giampietrino to Marco d'Oggiono, are precisely in the Venice exhibition. In some cases, with works of high level such as “Marta e Maria Maddalena” (“Martha and Mary Magdalene”)or “Maddalena con vaso d’unguento” (“Magdalene with an ointment vase”)of Luini, in particular for his ability to combine Leonardo’s sfumatowith a kind of metaphysical rigour that pervades his figures. And  exactly Magdalene herself is represented in one of the symbol-pictures of the exposition, the “Maddalena discinta” (“Bare-Breasted Magdalene”),that next to the preponderant hand of one of the Leonardesques — perhaps Marco d’Oggiono for the curator, perhaps Giampietrino for a great Leonardo scholar suchas Carlo Pedretti, recently passed away — could also see the hand of the master. Peculiar also a large “San Gerolamo in penitenza” (“Saint Hieronymus Penitent”)by Cesare da Sesto, who enriched Leonardo’s language with revivals from the classical art and from Raphael.The Leonardesques’ distinguishing feature remains — variously declined — the compositional smoothness, the use of sfumato, the diffuse illumination, the melancholic beauty of the subjects, the ambiguity of the faces. Leonardo’s sure presence in the exhibition is however represented by a fragment of a study drawing for the lost fresco, “Battaglia di Anghiari” (“Battle of Anghiari”)— of which the Gallerie dell’Accademia exhibit in this period several sheets — and by that of a “Testa di uomo” (“Man’s Head”), gone over again by the hand of a pupil of the artist. The director of the Levi Foundation, Giorgio Busetto, the president of the cooperative party Venice 2000 Foundation, Giuliano Segre and Francesco Stochino Weissof the Beijing Music Festival Arts Foundation yesterday presented in the opening ceremony. As a matter of fact, the exhibition, after Venice, will fly to China, to be shown first in Beijing starting from the early September, and then in other cities in China. In line also with the musical vocation of the Levi Foundation, in the Chinese stages it will also see musical interludes with the Ugo and Olga Levi Venice Ensemble with students of the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory, that will perform Renaissance music with vintage instrumentsand also passages of Chinese tradition.Enrico Tantucci ...More


2019-09-02 30 people interested

巨大而精巧的景观,超现实的情景,乐此不疲的观众……从步入展厅的那一刻起,一种独属于雷安德罗·埃利希(Leandro Erlich)的创作特征,瞬时间涌入视野,冲刷并震颤着人们的感官。 ...More

To Hold a “Knowledgeable” Exhibition - Taking “Exhibition of Selected Works from the National Beiping Art School Period” as an Example...

2019-08-07 71 people interested

The “CAFA Art Museum (CAFAM) Collection Series: Exhibition of Selected Works from the National Beiping Art School Period” (“National Beiping Art School Exhibition” or “the Exhibition”) is a trademark CAFAM collection exhibition since 2012. It has received good response and acclamations from the society. The Exhibition is one of the few monographic collection series in the domestic art museum world. It is a program worth exploration and reference, in the aspects of its selected topics, exhibitions, academic research, publicity and exhibition period. The article will analyze the intellectual and academic qualities of the exhibition’s content and structure.Living in a world filled with thousands of various exhibitions, including the collection exhibitions, we are still struggling to find meaningful ones in them. It is partly due to the limited level of exhibited artworks, but is further because of the out-of-date curatorial ideas and the result of which, lack of exhibitions with substance and reason. In an era of information explosion, when the information people receive increases greatly, the audience are no longer satisfied with the superficial image of artworks. They have more need for the cultural concept and creative intentions behind the world. The quality of the exhibition’s effect lies in the curatorial team’s ideas, which decide every detail of an exhibition. CAFAM is one of the earliest to raise the idea of producing knowledge in art museums in China. It views the art museums as a public space that produces and provides knowledge, and regards “knowledge production” as the historical responsibility and profession of art museums: “Art museums should be a synthesis of ‘knowledge production’. Every action related to art and culture that happens in an art museum can build up the meanings and values of ‘knowledge’; Art museums should take the production of ‘knowledge’ as its starting point and core meaning.” Art museums have historical responsibility in social education. Its exhibitions represent the professional institutions’ perspectives and attitudes. Through exhibitions they lead to discussions about the artworks, promote research on relevant art history research and the dissemination of artistic concepts, for the public to acquire knowledge and new perspectives on art. This is an important channel for the art museums to practice its function. In this sense, when we hold exhibitions in an art museum, we need to consider what the audience need and what we need to show them.Under the guidance of such concept, every step during the preparation of the National Beiping Art School Exhibition is centered around how to study the collection, how to make the audience understand the artworks, the theme of “Beiping Art School” and how to help the audience understand the exhibition and learn knowledge. This is a common goal for all the collection exhibitions - with real content and attitude, to “study history and collection profoundly and structurally and form an ‘art history’ writing.” 1.  Cultural Responsibilities and Knowledge Production from the Perspective of the Selected Topics of the National Beiping Art School ExhibitionThe topics of collection exhibitions are very important. The topic is the guideline of an exhibition. A good exhibition’s topic must have high academic level, historical sense, and contain social thinkings about the history and modern time, so that it is fresh instead of cliche and powerless; so that new possibilities could generate from the historical collections, while new academic viewpoint and research result can be passed on to the audience; so that the audience could truly learn things and further push forward the art cause.Why choosing the topic of the National Beiping Art School Exhibition? CAFAM has given to it thorough thinking: First, National Beiping Art School is a miniature and milestone of the development of modern art education in China. In the foreword of the first series exhibition it says: “The National Beiping Art School will was not only the fine art education shrine that gathered the best teachers and students and represented modern Chinese art, but also a cultural front that advocated spirits such as art education for all and the combination of art and science.” Many important thinkings, events and figures of modern Chinese art history are interwoven with the history of the National Beiping Art School, especially in Beijing, without the knowledge of the School would make it difficult to understand art during the Republic of China period. Moreover, as the predecessor of CAFA, the School is the foundation of many of CAFA’s heritage. During its 30-year development in Beijing, it had established close relationship with Beijing’s cultural scene, and was one of a significant aspect of Beijing culture. Thus, the National Beiping Art School is an utterly important and meaningful topic in terms of modern art history. Meanwhile, it is also a paradox: As the first national art school of modern China, a nursery ground for a large number of talents, it is still perceived vaguely, shatteredly, and inadequately by the public and even the academic world. In a long period of time, knowledge and research on the Beiping National Art School was in its primary stage. Its historical meaning is still far from well dug into. In this sense, this topic has filled in the gap of Chinese art history, as well as the gap in most audience’s cognition of art. This is exactly the responsibility of art museums. In the early stage of preparation for the Exhibition, CAFAM took the angle of art history research, and tried to bring in a macroscopical and historic thinking. What the museum needs to do is more than the display of artworks, but more importantly to tell a history, to fill the gap in the audience’s knowledge as well as art history research.2. Knowledge Production and Communication of Collection Exhibition from the Perspective of Organization and Execution of the National Beiping Art School ExhibitionThe successful selection of topic has solved an important problem, but why curating such an exhibition? How would the museum hold such an exhibition and will it be able to successfully hold the exhibition? The answers lie in adequate preparation. Only with adequate preparation the exhibition will naturally happen.In the foreword for the first series exhibition that focuses on western paintings, it mentioned four fundamental works regarding the National Beiping Art School: First, the discovery of important artists and artworks; second, organization and protection; third, featured researches on the collections and the National Beiping Art School; digital archiving. It was because these works have made progress that CAFAM was able to begin the exhibition series. Regarding the execution of the exhibition, the curators hope every part of the exhibition could offer adequate information and effective knowledge for the audience, so that they could understand the exhibition in multiple perspectives and levels, and make new discoveries through the exhibition. To achieve this goal, the curators put great effort in the selection, writing and organization of the exhibition, with the hope that the audience could comprehend the essence of the art during the National Beiping Art School period, and construct a succinct but complete image of the School. (1) Choose angles and accurate positioning of the exhibition according to the practical contentThe National Beiping Art School displayed by the Exhibition almost has no trace in most people’s memory, and that’s why a great deal of image archives and researches are needed to enrich the School’s picture. It is a fine art school with comprehensive disciplines, including painting, music, theater and architecture; in its 30 some years history, there were numerous disciplines and complex staff and student groups, which makes it especially important to choose what content the exhibition would display. In recent years, paintings by the first west painting professors Wu Fading and Li Yishi, like Wu’s Portrait of Woman Wearing Qipao and Li’s Portrait of Chen Shizeng (Picture 9), and works by teachers of the later period such as Sun Zongwei, Qi Zhenqi, Wang Linyi are gradually discovered and organized. Adding the original collection of masterpieces by Xu Beihong, Zhang Daqian, Qi Baishi, Huang Binhong, Chen Banding, Chang Shuhong, Wu Zuoren, Ai Zhongxin, Li Keran and Li Kuchan, CAFAM is equipped with a fundamental collection of the National Beiping Art School period. However, the collection is mainly composed of oil painting, Chinese painting, sketches and pastel painting, which is limited in categories and not able to reflect a complete picture of the School. Even so, another research on teachings during the Naitonal Beiping Art School period indicates that these categories exactly echo with the two most important and longest-established departments - western paintings and Chinese paintings. It is based on this fact that the curation of the Exhibition highlights these two departments, in order to show the main image and artistic characters of the School. In order to fully present the highly distinguished conditions and developments of western paintings and Chinese paintings in that period, the exhibition took the form of series exhibition, and held two feature exhibitions separately for western and Chinese paintings.Exhibitions with a specialized angle might not be comprehensive or grand, but they have more advantage in offering effective knowledge and information to the audience. This is a very important function of collection exhibitions. (2) Select exhibited works by academic standard and professional knowledgeExhibited works are traditionally the main body and most important component of an exhibition. The richest and most emphasized content of any exhibition is the exhibited works. To curate a fruitful exhibition for the audience, we must select works with high artistic value. Many of the exhibited works at the National Beiping Art School Exhibition are very precious works with high academic and artistic value, most of which are exhibited for the first time; some have even filled the gap of academic studies, such as Wu Fading’s Portrait of Woman Wearing Qipao, Li Yishi’s Portrait of Chen Shizeng, Portrait of Wang Mengbai in the western painting sector; and Zheng Jin’s Fox, Magnolia and Peacock, and Chen Shizeng’s album in the Chinese painting. With these precious works once again entered the public sphere through the Exhibition, neglected masters such as Yao Manfu, Xiao Qianzhong, Wang Mengbai, Tang Dingzhi, Yu Shaosong, Yan Bolong, Qi Zhenqi, Fang Bowu were also discovered. In the academic world, these works provide more complete materials for research on art history and construction of fine art memory of the Republic of China era; in the social realm, the public enjoy the opportunity of gaining a more complete, honest and richer knowledge of the art of the National Beiping Art School.These works themselves were not labeled with “National Beiping Art School”, neither were they from the same source, so how did we select and gather them up? It was thanks to the extensive effort of exhibition organizers. Every search and categorization of a work is a transmit of knowledge. A especially good point of the National Beiping Art School Exhibition is the serious-minded organization of works based on fact checks. Each and every artwork selected for the exhibition conformed to the exhibition’s standards, and could reflect the message the exhibition would like to pass on. When the exhibition was first organized, CAFAM has clear and strict rules for the works to be selected: First, as the theme is National Beiping Art School, the works must be related with the School - works from the School’s teachers or students, with its date and information clearly recorded, though because of the immature development of researches on the School, we encountered a lot of difficulties in the fact check works. Moreover, the National Beiping Art School people usually generally refer to was founded in 1918 and merged into Central Academy of  Fine Arts in 1949. Since it stopped existing since 1950, with a lot of academic changes happening since then, the works by the right authors must also be created during circa. 1918-1950. This is to guarantee the original presentation of the School’s art styles and to reduce historical misreadings. In order to find most comprehensive collection of works by the National Beiping Art School’s artists, we on the one hand search for names in the School’s staff and student rosters; on the other hand, we went through resumes of artists collected by CAFAM, and located those who were related to the School. After strict screening of works, we selected works that accord with the exhibition standards. But even though, they were not the final selections (all of them were included in the exhibition catalogue for future academic studies). Only the most precious and wonderful artworks were eventually exhibited according to requirements of the exhibition standards and space. The exhibited works could most directly tell the audience what the National Beiping Art School was, and what are the works that could most represent the School. The process of selecting works were also a process of clarifying truth, a process of showing the real picture of works from the National Beiping Art School period. Furthermore, as exhibited works were strictly organized according to the chronological order of the artists’ birth date, it could clearly present the change of era, and make the audience understand more clearly the School’s development in different stages. (3) Organize history and academic background behind works from the perspective of academic research and audience’s acceptabilityAlthough the National Beiping Art School Exhibition was divided into two themes: western painting and Chinese painting, due to the lack of the public’s knowledge of the School, it would confuse the audience if we directly entered narration about the two genres. In this sense, it is particularly important to have a basic research and introduction of the history and development of the School.  Only when the audience understood that part of information that they would understand the artworks’ cultural meaning, historical and artistic value. So firstly, facing the problems of the School’s complicated history of being established and re-established by different governments during the Republic of China period, its confusing naming in different stages and even today, curators conducted basic but clear organization of the history of the School. In the opening exhibition (Western Painting), the curators set up several blocks that provide introduction of the School in text and pictures, to form a vivid, graphic memory of the School. I now list a few of the blocks below: 1) The National Beiping Art School Chronology organized by Cao Qinghui (Picture 14 & 15), which presents detailed time of every change of the School’s name, directors, administrative affiliations, and addresses; 2) Table of the Corresponding Relationships between CAFAM Western Painting Collection’s Authors and the National Beiping Art School History, made by CAFAM, which organizes the exhibited artists’ time of study or teaching at the School, linking abstract history events with concrete paintings and creating a whole piece of picture with the two separate parts; 3) Archives, photos, seals and part of the books collected by the National Beiping Art School Library (Picture 16 - 20), such as the sketch portfolio sent by Zhang Xian to the School in 1936, articles by Xu Beihong and others to mourn Qi Zhenqi’s death, reports on Qi Zhenqi’s death, the School’s 1928 yearbook, archives of all phases of the School collected by CAFA, and “Artworks in Overseas Collections” at the “Realignment” exhibition, etc. These precious and vivid materials carry a great deal of historical message  and traces, bringing the audience to the time of the School, and passing on abundant historical codes to the audience. Meanwhile, the first systematic exhibition of these precious archives further provide materials and fuels to the development of academic research. For instance, in the following “The National Beiping Art School and Art of Republic of China” symposium, a scholar spoke about the Line between the North and the South issue of the Republic of China art based on Zhang Xian’s sketch portfolio.As many artists of this exhibition were unknown to the public, the Exhibition also sorted out complete resume of each artist (Picture 21), including the artist’s photo, birth date and death date, birthplace, alias, education and work experience, and major academic propositions, and mostly importantly, their teaching time and positions at the National Beiping Art School. Through this resume, the audience would know the artists’ achievements, their relationship with the School, and the important roles these people played in the Republic of China art world. In both the western painting and Chinese painting sectors, the artists’ signs and inscriptions were recognized; especially in the case of the seals, preface and postscripts on Chinese paintings, we especially displayed the text recognized by professional scholars alongside the original artworks, so that the audience could compare the text with that in the paintings, to help themselves better understand the works’ intentions.Except for the above mentioned works and archives, the Exhibition also collected, and displayed relevant research materials of the National Beiping Art School, to provide academic researches with more clues and questions, which makes it a good practice of pushing forward research with exhibition. In order to explain the special characters of the School’s period, especially the relationship between teachers’ creative practices and theoretical research (painting studies), the Chinese painting sector of the Exhibition collected and exhibited the first editions of important essays and articles by the exhibited artists published in the Republic of China period. Some of these materials are already academic classics, but there were hardly any chance for them to be gathered together, especially their first edition; in this case, the Exhibition presented a special scenery by linking these articles together with the thread of the National Beiping Art School. Meanwhile, the organization of these materials also provide systematic clue to Chinese paintings created during the National Beiping Art School period and even the Republic of China period (Picture 22). CAFAM saw this exhibition as a platform to gather materials of value in all layers, and through categorization and organization it hopes to see chemical reactions in thinking and research.The Exhibition’s introduction and presentation of history and academic background shows CAFAM’s academic level and vision. Only when the historical relations of the artworks are organized and the stories behind artworks are well told, that the audience would find it easier to understand the exhibition and the knowledge behind it, so as for the effective communication of knowledge. (4) Conduct systematic and focused academic researches and guide the audience through the exhibitionOnly putting good artworks together won’t make a good exhibition. The real value of a work is the historical value and artistic value it carries. Thus the Exhibition proposes to conduct analyses on artworks not from the superficial and isolated angles of their content, techniques, but from their (art) historical background and development, and to appreciate different works and discover their charisma via comparison. Guiding the audience to appreciate artworks is both the museum’s responsibility and requirement for knowledge circulation. Feature research became the partly hidden and partly visible kite string behind, as well as the academic core of the exhibition. It is exactly this idea that the Exhibition would like to affirm, that we should show the audience content and clues through art historical researches, and tell the audience what to see and how to see. All the research of the Exhibition series was centered around the National Beiping Art School’s history from the perspectives that the audience could easily understand, to re-organize the chaotic and complicated history events, and provide the audience with essence of artistic development below the surface.The academic focus of the exhibitions are clearly set according to the paintings’ genre and time. All three exhibitions include Associate Professor Cao Qinghui’s simple but profound feature research. Such a significant research body, tailored specially for an exhibition, is a rare case. In the western painting sector, Professor Cao Qinghui wrote an essay titled “Mainstream, main thread and others”, in which he conducted analyses on collected works and their authors, while linking them to the development of western art in China in the 20th century, so as to organize the main thread of the introduction and practice of western paintings in the first half of 20th century with the National Beiping Art School as an example. Research found out that most of the western painting teachers of the early National Beiping Art School period have studied abroad, so have the teachers from the late period, that’s why their works are closely related to Japan and Europe and involve complicated teacher-student relationships. To put it simply, the main thread of western painting’s development is linked by overseas students and their students; the main stream is the introduction of realistic paintings and the formation of realistic trend and school in 1940s. The main thread of Chinese painting’s development, on the other hand, was narrated by Prof. Cao Qinghui in his essay “The Transformation of Painting Studies Through Broken Shadows of Chinese Painting”. He analyzed main issues the Chinese Painting Department of the National Beiping Art School faced in the 30 some years history, such as the conflicts between western pedagogy and traditional Chinese painting study, conflicts between officers with overseas study background and Chinese faculties, and ups and downs of logic methodologies of painting study, the evolution of Chinese painting and the development of realism. The two essays not only provided distinctive organization and study of the history of western painting and Chinese painting disciplines of the National Beiping Art School, but also clarified the two disciplines’ faculty background, development process and art styles, narrated the major history events of western painting and Chinese painting, and divided the School’s history into clear phases. Based on this solid research result, the exhibition was curated from the two unique angles of overseas study and painting study, which reveals to the point the core question in changes of faculty and art styles during the School’s development. The exhibition thus offered special viewpoints and clues.The practice of the National Beiping Art School Exhibition indicates that except for good artworks, collection exhibitions must also have profound study and systematic organization of collected works. This kind of study should avoid pinning a meaningless academic label on works or exhibitions, which would only confuse the audience. Such study should go through detailed and accurate academic research and organization, should target certain aspects, while also considering the audience’s acceptability. (5)  Set up the museum’s educational responsibility in historical narration through collection exhibitionsThe Exhibition advocates an academic attitude of restoring and envisaging history. This accords with CAFAM’s educational responsibility to restore history and conduct historical narration.The history is full of variety and causal relationships, but it is also hypercritical and forgetful. Many hidden historical events are equally important in their days, and are an important node in the study of history. The lack of avoidance from history will lead to many misreadings, and thus the lost of vitality. In face of these significant problems, CAFAM should present objective exhibitions. The National Beiping Art School Exhibition, when dealing with the National Beiping Art School during the enemy occupation of Beiping  (it was named National Beijing Art School at the moment), gave that history objective positioning and evaluation.A museum’s display and narration of art history should be systematic and consistent, which is an important embodiment of the museum’s educational function. The National Beiping Art School Exhibition boldly experimented on this aspect, and made some achievements in the two exhibitions on western and Chinese painting. It seems that the question of the National Beiping Art School has been answered after systematic organization of the two painting disciplines, but following them CAFAM releases the third exhibition, named “Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts” (Picture 23). In the foreword of the exhibition it says: “The museum narration of the National Beiping Art School, CAFA and the evolution of 20th century Chinese art, based on museum collection, has reflected the teachers and students’ creative trends, ups and downs in styles at the School and CAFA in different historical phases of 20th century. It starts to touch upon the relationship between the academy and the society, teachers and students and creative trends. In order for the narration to be more inherently logical, and to establish and dig deep into the historical relations between collected works, our museum believes that it is necessary to conduct specialized organization of the establishment of CAFA by merging the National Beiping Art School and the Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts through collection and archives.” The exhibition will further complete the  narration of the National Beiping Art School Exhibition series, and in the meanwhile facilitate explicit expression of CAFA’s relationship with its two predecessors, to form a “comparatively complete thematic museum narration”. The thinking is based upon a macroscopic narration and sincere attitude towards academic studies, and demonstrates CAFAM’s systematicness and sense of responsibility in terms of its public education function.3. Exhibition as a Component of Museum Knowledge CirculationThe National Beiping Art School Exhibition also went through profound and serious academic discussions about other topics relevant to the School. It expands the exhibition’s influence, generates more research subjects, and truly promotes research in this aspect. The Exhibition is no longer isolated, but has become a component of museum knowledge circulation. During the exhibition, two important symposium and semniar were settled: “The National Beiping Art School and Art of Republic of China” symposium (Picture 24) and “High as Mountains and Long as Rivers: Masters of the National Beiping Art School” seminar (Picture 25). The symposium invited over 40 experts from relevant academic field to speak, the content of which was later edited and published as a book. The seminar includes over ten lectures, each of them was unfolded around an old master from the National Beiping Art School. We have also combined seminars with master and doctor courses, encouraged the students to participate in the seminars and write essays based on the issues and their interested points mentioned in the seminars and the exhibitions. Throughout the development of relevant events, the three exhibitions of the National Beiping Art School Exhibition also continuously brewed and formed a positive cycle.Meanwhile, the Exhibition also practiced CAFAM’s good archiving tradition, editing and publishing the Exhibition’s data and research results. The Exhibition’s publication is not only an exhibition catalogue - it also adds in many works that weren’t exhibited, and significant academic materials that cannot be presented at the exhibition, to make the exhibition’s academic and archival quality more complete. The successive release of the publications also helps preserve and circulate the Exhibition’s research fruits, with they themselves become important research books of the field. It is worth mentioning that CAFAM also produced digital exhibition room for the Exhibition using digital technologies. It recorded the exhibition venue with 360-degree cameras, and linked the exhibition’s information to the visual footage, so that the exhibition’s visual effects could be preserved permanently, and the audience could revisit real site of the exhibition on their computers.A good exhibition shouldn’t be a lecture out of a textbook, but should contain rich thinkings of the curators. It’s like creating an unknown world for the audience to discover themselves. The audience could either achieve something following the route designated by the curators, or discover their own interests and inspirations freely. A good exhibition is not the end point of a research or an isolated event, but should be a transmission shaft that passes on more abundant resources, or a fermenter that incubates more fresh matters.The feature collection exhibition in Chinese museums is only at its beginning stage, and the National Beiping Art School Exhibition is a beneficial experiment. It sturdily completed a thematic series research, pushed forward development of relevant academic fields, and enhanced the public’s knowledge of art in the National Beiping Art School period to a certain extent. In this process, the museum’s curatorial idea was also well represented. Although the content is about works and archives of nearly a century ago, the curatorial idea and approach, as well as the ultimate effect of the exhibition, are new. Picture 1: Poster of the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 2: Bus stop light box advertisement design of the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 3: Large printing of the photo of the Auditorium of the National Beiping Art School and previous names of the School at all stages, put at the entrance of the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 4: Photo wall, archive presentation and seal background at the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 5: Entrance of the “Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” Exhibition (3rd Floor). A scroll painting of the National Beiping Art School collected by CAFAM is used as the main image of the exhibitionPicture 6: On-site photo of the “Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 7: At the entrance (3rd Floor) of the “Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts (1946-1953)”  exhibition. The Chinese inscription of “National Fine Art Academy” by Mao Zedong is used as the main imagePicture 8: On-site photo of the “Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts (1946-1953)”  exhibitionPicture 9: Li Yishi, Portrait of Chen Shizeng, Oil on Canvas, 70x130cm, 1920, Collection of CAFAM (This work is one of the two portrait works of Li Yishi from the 1920s that are known to be left to date. It is a very precious artwork and research material)Picture 10: On-site photo of the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 11: On-site photo of the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” Exhibition. The reading table and provided materials at the exhibition are spoken highly of by the audiencePicture 12: On-site photo of the “Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 13: On-site photo of the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 14: The National Beiping Art School Chronology compiled by Professor Cao Qinghui, displayed at the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 15: Seals of the names of CAFA since its establishment in 1918Picture 16: Photo wall of the valuable photos throughout the history of the National Beiping Art School at the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 17: Books collected by the National Beiping Art School Library, displayed at the “Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” Exhibition; displayed on the upper right corner is the sketch portfolio donated by Zhang Xian in 1936Picture 18: Photo of the “Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” Exhibition. The painting in the photo is Qi Baishi’s Eagle donated by the artist to the School in 1935. Displayed on the shelf on the left is Ling Wenyuan’s Discussions on Chinese PaintingsPicture 19: Yu Shaosong’s Fu Tang Lei Gao, displayed at the “Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” ExhibitionPicture 20: The National Beiping Art School Chronology compiled by Professor Cao Qinghui, once again displayed at the “Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts (1946-1953)” ExhibitionPicture 21: The “Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School” Exhibition collected and collated detailed resume of the artists. Many materials are made public for the first time. All the 34 resumes were shown in the exhibition area for the audience to quickly enter the atmosphere of the National Beiping Art SchoolPicture 22: The “Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts (1946-1953)” Exhibition organized the representative artworks which were created in the early years after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China and cannot be exhibited on site, and displayed them as a video titled “Artworks in Overseas Collections”.Picture 23: The “Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts (1946-1953)” Exhibition displayed Mao Zedong’s inscription of “National Fine Art Academy” in 1949 for the first time as a piece of workPicture 24: “The National Beiping Art School and Art of Republic of China” symposium was co-held by CAFAM and School of Humanities on April 6, 2013. A group photo was taken after the symposiumPicture 25: “High as Mountains and Long as Rivers: Masters of the National Beiping Art School” seminar was held by CAFAM and School of Humanities in Autumn 2013. It invited renowned scholars in China to conduct lectures on important figures in the history of the National Beiping Art School. The seminar has 10 lectures, and stirred heated discussions.Written by Li Yaochen, Director of Department of Collection, CAFA Art MuseumOriginally published in Issue 6 of University and Art MuseumEdited by Zheng Lijun1. The National Beiping Art School Exhibition has three parts: 1) CAFA Art Museum Collection Series: Selected Works of Western Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School (November 27, 2012 - April 25, 2013); 2) CAFA Art Museum Collection Series: Selected Works of Chinese Painting Created in the Period of National Beiping Art School (June 6, 2013 - December 1, 2013); 3) Realignment: From National Beiping Art School, Yan’an Luxun College of Fine Arts to China Central Academy of Fine Arts (1946-1953) (November 4, 2014 - March 1, 2015).2. The National Beiping Art School Exhibition was listed as one of the Outstanding Exhibitions of National Exhibition Season of Brilliant Collection Works from Art Museums in China by the Ministry of Culture.3. Wang Huangsheng (2012), Art Museum as Knowledge Production, p.13, Central Compilation and Translation Press4. Wang Huangsheng (2012), Art Museum as Knowledge Production, p.14, Central Compilation and Translation Press ...More

The Adventure of Leandro Erlich...

2019-07-19 127 people interested

Fram Kitakawa, founder of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and Setouchi Triennale Leandro Erlich is an artist that aims to jump out of the generic space of galleries and art museums. He tries to break through the space embodied by the 20th-century urban high-rise architectural complex. It is a bold challenge, from which we can comprehend his role in the contemporary era, and the reason behind his popularity.Some people hang themselves upside down on the wall; some cling to the wall; some hang on the wall with one hand; some completely free up their hands. It is in fact an illusion reflected on a glass board set in a 45-degree elevation angle. People are only lying down on the facade placed on the floor. —BuildingThe reflecting mirror placed in front of the real corridor creates an effect that the corridor is endless. — The CorridorThe clouds in the shape of France, Britain and Japanese Archipelago is the aggregation of irregular patterns formed by multi-layered glasses. - The CloudThe elevator is tightly packed, yet meanwhile there’s a strange man standing in it. — Elevator PitchIn the classroom next door, phantom-like people are looking at this side smiling. — The ClassroomI look through the window at the window of the house across the garden, only to see people standing in front of the window looking at a different direction, just like myself. — Lost GardenThe rolling coin operated laundry machine is only an illusionary image. — LaundryEvery room in the opposite building is changing slowly. — The Room (Surveillance II)When I believe I am looking down at the apartment buildings from high above, I am actually only standing on the floor. — La veredaThe wall of an old architecture is floating in the air. — Window & LadderA few boats are floating on the water surface without water, showing the ripples. — Port of ReflectionsAll walks of life can be seen walking under water from above the pool. — Swimming PoolThe changing rooms, originally single rooms, are connected by multiple rooms. The inside can be seen very clearly. — Changing RoomsLight is leaking from beneath the rooms, but as you enter them you will find that they are only walls. — The DoorsOn a sunny day, you look outside the window only to discover violent storms. — RainIn a hair salon, the mirror in front of my reflects a person behind me who shouldn’t exist. — Hair SalonWalking outside, you’ll see a house hanged up in the air. — Pulled by the RootsGeneric space is a predominant idea of the 20th century, or the modern time.  Mies van der Rohe believes that the capital and labor are congregated in the urban area, which leads to a metropolis full of high-rise buildings and composed of steel and glass walls. In fact, cities that develop around high-rise building complex are appearing all over the world, in China, Europe, America and Africa. This kind of space is detached from the multiplex characteristics of life and historical experience, and becomes a void space like laboratory. By changing the dividing wall of a room, a building can be easily transformed into a residency, office or restaurant. There is no more convenient building than the ones with well-adjusted indoor air. People in such space is counted and manipulated as a quantifiable figure.The space has lost the history and culture peculiar to the land, while people are defined by demographic statistics -  this is exactly the viewpoint that shroud the whole world impacted by the global market economy. Art is also developing under the same background. The ‘white box’ exhibition space encircled by white high walls is the space incised from the surrounding, having the same appearance in all countries and regions. This is called spatial balance. In such space, works can purely show their core concept, like in a science laboratory. In here we can clearly understand the jumping thoughts of the artists.However, here lies a big question.Does the ideal abstract space really exist?The problem we are truly facing is the constant deterioration of global environment, the increasing wealth gap one-sidedly created by the market economy controlled by transnational capitalists, and the capitalist moral degeneration resulted from it, leading to the loss of individual sensibility, mechanization and the disappearance of local culture. Since ancient times, artists have been gradually disclosing the relationship between human and nature, and civilization in the midst of the crisis of civilization and at the dawn of new eras. During this process, they use a technique mastered by human.The cave paintings in Altamira and Lascaux are on the one side pray for human’s toil in risking their life capturing middle-sized beasts, and on the other side pray for the pain the captured animals suffered. They embody the united relationship between human and nature. In any subsequent era, art has been the reflection of the relations between nature, society and human. In the vast universe formed accidentally, for the human race born at one moment of the universe, art is the only index of our self-cognition. Without that index human race won’t exist. Like language and literature, art is an index with universal meaning (a very good example is the paintings by the aboriginals). Leandro Erlich tries to break the boundaries by making use of the difference between materials such as glass boards, glass and water, and create boundaries in intangible generic space by using high-quality materials produced in modern industry. This is his creative practice.Everyone is at the terminal point of global information, drowned in all kinds of information, signs and rumors, while believing that we can freely choose and collect certain information. However, they are only the information manipulated within the limit permitted by power, capital and the Internet.These information is fixed in a specific image, and leads to a time that art stops progressing. It seems that we can freely choose from endless information, but the composition and thought pattern are becoming stereotyped.At this time, Leandro Erlich emerged.Either a work is put in Beijing, Johannesburg or London, people can appreciate and understand it in the same way. This is the exhibition standard of 20th century art in white boxes such as galleries and art museums, as well as the 20th century philosophy. Such generic space shares the same character with market economy, international finance and the Internet, and is the most influential (best) idea of the 20th century. It is fair to say that art develops based on generic space.— To judge a thing with the same viewpoint no matter where. —So, in order to transcend the generic space, how does Leandro consider it? Let us take a look at the meaning of Chinese characters, an ancient pictograph.移す (utsusu) →To copy, transcribe, keep and record.映す (utsusu) →To reflect an item’s original look as the light illuminate other items.映す (utsusu) →To duplicate, reprint and copy the original.The three words, with the same etymological origin, changed gradually and form the modern usage of “utsusu” (They share the same Japanese katakana and pronunciation).The different kinds of works by Leandro Erlich, to speak about them in Japanese or write about them in Chinese characters, are to show the context of “utsusu” in a brief and one-time-only place.He seals the space’s time here, like the time sealed in a movie. In his perspective, generic space has become an exceptionally indifferent space without accumulation of time. Thus, his method is to break through his own generic space by transferring a generic space.Modern space is only a thing without the concept of time. Leandro Erlich raised here a theory to generate space by transferring, duplicating and moving the subject. The object changes according to the human (subjects)’s behaviors. This is also the relationship between man and nature since ancient times. In Chinese characters there are homonyms that show turning points. I try to explore this relationship with the different meanings contained in these words. This is what Ernst Mach talked about “”, and the world described in synoptic gospels since ancient time. To simply put it, it is because I have sympathy for the word “stand”, that my reflection in the mirror is standing.I want to talk about the certainty in Leandro Erlich’s creative practice. As he is having his exhibition in Beijing, I would like to elaborate with the “Six Principles of Chinese Painting”, written by Chinese painter and critic Xie He, who lived in the fifth and sixth century, in the preface to his book The Record of the Classification of Old Painters. This is a time that Buddhism was introduced to China from India, as well as a time that ‘art’ itself is questioned as for how it can understand and reflect the nature and society human feel about. At least in Japan, the final destination of Asian culture, ‘Six Principles of Chinese Painting’ is regarded as an important art theory.The basic elements of painting it raised have also been applied outstandingly in modern art.Correspondence to the Object: the modeling abilitySuitability to Type: color perceptionDivision and Planning: space compositionThese elements are what Leandro Erlich, who was born in an architects’ family, best at, and the reasons why his works are vivid and easy to understand.Transmission by Copying: mastering of the classic, or the forefathers’ achievementSuch learning pattern could ensure the modernity of his works. In other words, it offers the audience a new spatial experience. From here we can see Leandro Erlich’s knowledgeability.Bone Method: the unique technique and feeling of the artistBased on the above-mentioned, as I talked about Leandro Erlich’s personal art concept earlier, he is creating a void in homogeneous space by “transferring, copying and reflecting”, and thus creating a new and rich space. The aforementioned five principles can be obtained with practice, except for the last one which is Spirit Resonance.This is the conversation between the work and the audience. In other words, it  points to the realization of a new spatial experience. What Xie He believes is that the overall energy of a work of art may impact the audience. It is full of vitality as if it has the power to shake mountains and rivers. And to judge if a work has that energy, we should see if it has the overall vitality. It seems that Leandro Erlich has such works with spirit resonance.In Buenos Aires, Leandro Erlich’s hometown, there’s a public work named The Democracy of the Symbol. The work covered the top of the city’s iconic monument, and showcased the duplicate of the top in front of the museum. The work seems to be “hidden” before “transferred”, but it is actually made separately after the original was hidden. Although I haven’t been to Buenos Aires, but I heard that it’s a popular place for dating lovebirds and protesting people. Society, politics and power co-exist in this place. Since ancient Greece, squares have been a place for people to voice themselves, sometimes they could also be place of suppression. What does the embodiment mean here? Leandro Erlich lives in South America, but his thought penetrates the whole modern time. It reminds people of Christo’s  artwork ‘Wrapped Reichstag’, or Eisenstein’s movie Battleship Potemkin. Homogeneous city also rises with the support of power. For modern people, can the art museums completely be a place of freedom? This remains to be questioned.Moreover, in Japanese countryside Echigo-Tsumari, in an exchange museum designed by Hiroshi Hara that reminds people of oasis in a desert, Leandro Erlich created a building similar to the structure of urban architecture in the wading pool, as if he was criticizing the modern civilization by “transferring, duplicating and reflecting” the constantly extending modern generic space. People can see the building reflected on the water from the balcony, and can also go into the pool to have fun. He started to move his creative place to squares and countryside, one step closer to the nature which is suffering from destructions.20th century is filled with symbolized information, programmed human and stereotyped space, while Leandro Erlich initiated a bold adventure, trying to break through the leading generic space with the power of art. He’s like Don Quixote who longs to time travel to the Middle Ages, or a modern-time warrior. Leandro Erlich was born in the middle of South America of the old time. Just like Garcia Marquez trying to create a world that overthrows European and North American values with literature, he tries to create a world with his artworks - from the white cubic of galleries and museums to squares that stand for civil society, his footsteps extend to the gradually degenerating, formalizing cities. Let us keep an eye on his adventures.Written by Fram Kitakawa, founder of Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and Setouchi Triennale Translated by Liu YanchaoProofread by Lu YufanEdited by Zheng Lijun ...More

Zhang Zikang: Leandro Erlich - --Begin from Amazementing, the Game of Seeing and Believinge...

2019-07-19 115 people interested

Zhang Zikang, Director of the Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine ArtsCAFA Art MuseumThe Art Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts(CAFAM) held a solo exhibition for the well-respected artist Leandro Erlich. The exhibition, titled ‘Leandro Erlich: The Confines of the Great Void’, is, which is the mostanother important onesolo exhibition of the artist’s after the onehis solo exhibition in Karlsruhe Art and Media CenterZKM in, 2015in Germany, and anotherthe one in MoriArt Museum, 2017 in Tokyo Japan. in 2017.Prior to this, Leandro’s artworks has attracted massive attention of manytheaudiences all over the world. Through the fermentation of the Internet and social media, his work has reached a wider audience, inspired them to produce numerous photos and interactions on social media. In some sense, the concept of Leandro’s artwork ishas been betterfinished by the participation of the audience. His work also makes people realize that the form of art is being changed by both the audience and the artists, in such a deep interaction with the public. I think this is where the unique charm of Leandro’s art work lies. Through his art work, we get the chance to think about contemporary art and its exhibitions, and about how to form a new viewing relationship with the audience under the catalysis of the new media culture. Losst, vagueness, perceptual confusion---these are the feelings that Leandro’s artworks often brings to the audience. As Leandro said, there is a wide experimental field between seeing and believing. With the spatialpsychologicalsubversion of the ordinary space, such as spatial displacement and architectural illusion, Leandro explores the misplaced problem of the existence ofthe fuzzy boundary betweenexistential reality and consciousness, creates a situation in which the reality and the illusory overlap, and triggers the audience to rethinkthe perception andits diversity.  In order to best express the concepts he wants to elaborate, media and visual forms such as installations, ready-made products, sculptures, videos and even paintings have been adopted by Leandro, and he has successfully created many cultural landscapes that challenge our perception ofperceptual inertia. In Chinese proverbs, thereThere is a sayingin Chinese called “Seeing is believinge”, but Leandro’s artworks makes us feel that “seeing might not be believing”, because this visual artist who was born on the South American continent has made usnaturallymade us wonder ifthink thatthe South American’s magical realistm cultural genes have deeply influenced him. His works have provided a possibility that what we see might not be real.In Leandro’s work, there are many places without clear boundaries--- a Pool that seems to descend from the skyappear out of nowhere, a house that is Pulled up by the RootsUprootedfrom the ground, a closed DoorThe Doors with light leaking from the crackbeneath,a few boats that float on the water that looks like mirror etc. These daily scenes evoke the viewer’s’ sense of reality, like an entrance to “heterotopia”. It echoes tois similar towhat Lao TzuLaozi said, “There is something concrete in the emptiness and there is something real in the ambiguity.”, across two distant cultural time and space. The combination of reality and representation brings illusion to the audience, confusing the direct perception of the human eyes, bringing the audience into the imaginary world which is full of mirroring images.Wherever Leandro Ehrlich’s work goes, there will always be a carnival that embraces visual art. His humor is sharp, and the surprise is just a prelude.In the process of slowly unfoldingAs the storyslowly unfolds, the many pendulumshints he has buriedleft for us are worthy of ourcareful subtle taste.pondering.Written by Co-curator: Zhang Zikang, Director of the Art Museum of the Central Academy of Fine ArtsCAFA Art MuseumTranslated by Liu YanchaoProofread by Lu YufanEdited by Zheng Lijun ...More


2019-06-04 118 people interested

内容提要:本文是“先驱之路:留法艺术家与中国现代美术(1911-1949)”展策展理念的深化,旨在研究在20世纪上半叶中国美术转型的历史节点上,那些选择了将中国美术由传统走向现代的发展之路的留法艺术家们。无论是倾向于西方学院派古典主义、写实主义、现实主义的“科学”的现代性诉求之路探索的先驱们,还是那些接近西方现代主义诸流派的“民主”的现代性诉求之路的前行者们,都殊途同归,共同促进了20世纪上半叶中国美术现代性的发展,并推动了20世纪中国美术基本面貌的形成与演变。关键词:留法艺术家;现代性;20世纪中国美术留学(包括游学)是19世纪末20世纪上半叶兴起的中国历史,尤其是文化史中最富时代特征的现象之一。中国近代的留学运动始于19世纪末,先是主要留学日本,20世纪初的1906年左右清政府开始官派少数青年留学欧美。此后,从清末至新中国成立之前,期间自费、公派出国的留学生人数众多,他们在政治、经济、军事、思想、文化、美术等各领域研习精进,归国后贡献了巨大力量,做出杰出贡献,成为众多领域的先驱者和奠基人。具体到美术领域,留学欧洲热潮以法国巴黎为核心展开,王如玖和吴法鼎[1]都是在1911年转学法国巴黎高等美校专习美术,开启了留法艺术家的先驱之路[2]。尽管随后也有李超士[3]、方君璧[4]等少数青年自费赴法学习美术,但是,直到1915年蔡元培在法国与吴稚晖、李石曾、吴玉章等创办了“留法勤工俭学会”,以实际行动、组织保证和多次撰文倡导青年留学欧美。自此, 自费、半工半读、公费留学法国专门学习美术的青年才突增起来,林风眠即属第一批勤工俭学留法艺术生中的一员。而1919年北洋政府第一次专门划拨一个公费留法名额给美术专业,获得这个名额的就是徐悲鸿。 换句话说,徐悲鸿是中国第一位公费留法艺术生——尽管,这个公费名额是蔡元培为他直接争取来的。可以说,徐悲鸿是带着自己和时代赋予他的历史使命——“为人生而艺术“赴法留学的。徐悲鸿认为中国画学之颓败皆因为文人画所致,改良的办法,需要“实写”,要“按现世已发明之术,规模真景物”,达到“惟妙惟肖”,以此改良中国画,挽救颓败的中国画,[5]以期寻找一条将中国美术由传统向现代转型的出路。徐悲鸿提出的“实写”,即是随后陈独秀发表在1919年1月15日《新青年》第6卷第1号《美术革命(复吕澂信)》(吕澂的信发表在1918年12月15日的《新青年》上)中 的“写实主义”,这恐怕是针对美术界第一次提出以西方写实主义改良中国画。[6]同年10月,稍早于陈独秀,蔡元培在刚成立不久的“北大画法研究会”第二次开班授课的演讲上也强调:“此后对于习画,余有两种希望:即多做实物的写生,及持之以恒二者是也。中国画与西洋画,其入手方法不同。中国画始自临摹,外国画始自写实……今吾辈学画,当用研究科学之方法贯注之……用科学方法以入美术。”[7]徐悲鸿此时正被蔡元培邀请在“北大画法研究会”担任水彩画导师,并且,为了掌握他在文中提到的“现世已发明之术”,也就是蔡元培提到的“科学方法”,他远渡重洋,在巴黎高等美校接触、选择和认真学习了8年并终生坚持了学院派写实主义风格、手法及艺术主张。[8]1927年9月回国后,他一方面积极创作大型油画历史画,响应蔡元培以“科学方法”创作中国自己的大型历史画的美育主张;一方面投身美术教育,先后在全国各地公、私美术学校教授青年学生,推行写实主义教育教学主张,同时效仿蔡元培当年对他的举荐,多次向国民政府推举多位青年才俊赴法、英、美研习美术;另一方面,他还以强大的个人魅力和有效的社会活动力,将大批志同道合的新派名家团聚在自己周围,形成了目前学界所言的“徐悲鸿体系”。说到体系,不免使人想到新文化运动中倡导的“民主”与“科学”思想。徐悲鸿掌握和奉行的学院派写实主义艺术主张,可以看作是新文化运动“民主”与“科学”思想中“科学”信念与态度在美术界的回应。1915年兴起的新文化运动中,陈独秀提出了“国人而欲脱蒙昧时代,……当以科学与人权并重”。[9]并将“民主”(人权)与“科学”形象地比喻为“德先生”和“赛先生”,[10]并且强调“只有这两位先生,……才可以救治中国政治上道德上学术上思想上一切的黑暗”。[11]由此,以陈独秀为代表的一批社会精英,不但完成了将辛亥革命以来自发的“民主”“科学”观念上升到自觉的层面,尤其将其上升到关系国家兴亡的历史高度,这非常契合当时兴起的普遍的民族觉醒意识。具体来讲,提倡“民主”是为了反抗专制君权,为了启蒙国人做自己的主人,不做身体和精神上的奴隶,实现个体的解放与精神的自由;提倡“科学”是为了反抗旧道德旧伦理,反对封建盲从,提倡实证主义经验哲学,也就是陈独秀说的“实利”,重点在倡导理性。 “民主”与“科学”信念在20世纪上半叶成为时代变革的号角,成为中国从传统社会出走后的历史选择,也就是我们现在所说的成为20世纪上半叶中国的现代性表征。徐悲鸿在时代洪流面前,选择了“科学救国”的艺术探索之路,不过,他并非如他自己所言“独持偏见,一意孤行”,而是有大批的志同道合者。倾向于学院派写实主义的美术家除了他之外,还有李金发、李风白、吕斯百、吴作人、王临乙、刘开渠、萧淑芳、韩乐然、谢投八、秦宣夫、唐一禾、吕霞光、胡善馀、曾竹韶、王子云、滑田友、张充仁、李瑞年、廖新学、黄觉寺,以及在徐悲鸿之前就已经开始进行实践的吴法鼎,及倾向于学院派新古典主义的王如玖、郭应麟、常书鸿等。这一批留法艺术家以严谨理性“科学”的学院派写实造型体系,不但进行着油画语言的探索,而且体验着不同于中国传统文化对于世界的把握和表达的新的视觉经验,那就是相对精确、客观地再现客观现实,而不是如文人画那样只写“胸中逸气”。这一批美术家的艺术实践可以说一定程度上实现了康有为、蔡元培、徐悲鸿、陈独秀早在20世纪第一个十年中倡导的以西方的写实主义改良中国传统书画的愿景。在以西方科学的比例、体积、透视、空间、光影、色调、质感、细节刻画等一系列系统的写实性造型语言进行中国画改良实践的画家中,也以徐悲鸿为代表,包括他的“彩墨画”“夜景画”概念的提出与实践,包括他在中国人物画振兴、传统山水画向风景画的转变、传统花鸟画、动物画的写实造型语言探索方面,都为20世纪上半叶中国传统美术向现代的转型提供了各种可能性和可行性探索。相比之下,与徐悲鸿同学于巴黎高等美校的林风眠,[12]同样带着自己和时代赋予他的历史使命——“为艺术而艺术”赴法留学。只是,他没有完全醉心于学院派写实主义的“科学”艺术之路,而是更倾心于“民主”精神——他迷恋上了学院之外的西方现代主义诸流派,在林风眠看来,这些画派能够充分传达人类的情感,这正是他醉心于艺术的核心所在。[13]林风眠一生追求“艺术是人类情感的表现”,这不仅离不开他第戎的恩师杨西斯(Yancesse)的谆谆教诲,[14]也与他的德籍第一任夫人罗拉不无关系,与他一生秉承蔡元培“兼容并包、学术自由”的治学及教育理念密不可分,也可以说是他自己的个性使然。根据现存文献中的黑白图片,约略可见林风眠在1924-1927年间创作的几幅巨幅油画作品《摸索》《人类的历史》《人道》《民间》等,题材和主题充满悲怆的历史感、深沉的悲剧意识、殷切的现实关怀,其造型和笔触激烈、有力、狂放,作品中野兽派的色彩,[15]立体派的形式构成,以及德国表现主义的象征性和表现性,加之林风眠独特磅礴的气势和真挚充沛的感染力,这些都深深感动了蔡元培,他对林风眠极为赞赏。要知道,恐怕只有在林风眠身上,蔡元培才看到了他的“美育代宗教说”完美的实践者和实现者。蔡元培急急地让还在求学阶段年仅25岁的林风眠回国,接任国立北平艺专校长,之后更是接二连三委以重任。林风眠也在之后的杭州艺专任校长期间,秉承蔡元培“兼容并包、学术自由”的治学及教育理念,网罗和培养了众多艺术人才,使杭州成为传播和实践西方现代主义诸画派的重镇。倾向于抽象艺术的吴大羽、赵无极,追求形式美感的吴冠中,追求巴黎画派意味的雷圭元、对油画语言的纯粹性精益求精的胡善馀、董希文[16]等,皆是留法艺术家中与林风眠和杭州艺专关系密切的油画家。诚如前文所述,蔡元培在“北大画法研究会”第二次开班授课的演讲上,强调用西方写实的科学方法进行美术创作这一理想,以徐悲鸿为代表的一批学院派新古典主义、写实主义艺术家得以实现;而蔡元培更认为“现今最流行的表现派,尤与中国式相接近”。[17]蔡元培这里所说的表现派,主要指后印象派、野兽派、巴黎画派、德国表现主义。而与蔡元培此观点高度一致的,除了林风眠,还有刘海粟。刘海粟自1912年参与创办中国第一个私立美术学校以来,通过美术教育、艺术创作、社会活动等,在上海产生持久而巨大的影响。某种程度上可以说,上海在整个20-30时代,都属于刘海粟的时代。确切地说,属于刘海粟倡导的印象派、后印象派、野兽派、立体派等西方现代主义诸画派风靡上海的时代。刘海粟此时只短暂考察过日本现代艺术,还没有去过法国,但是他广泛接触美术期刊,从而接触到当时法国巴黎最流行也最前卫的画派——印象派、后印象派、野兽派、立体派等。而蔡元培对刘海粟艺术风格的理解极为中肯和深刻,他在1922年称赞并指出“刘君的艺术,是倾向于后期印象主义,他专喜描写外光;他的艺术,纯是直观自然而来,”而且“很深刻地把个性表现出来。”且“他的个性是十分强烈。”“总是主观地抒展自己的情感。”[18]之后倪贻德也持此观点。1929年2月刘海粟得蔡元培赏识,为其争取到以教育部考察员之名赴欧洲各国考察游历。这就使得他的欧洲之行在身份上完全不同于其他留法艺术家,他不是作为学生,而是作为功成名就的大师级“访问学者”赴欧进行艺术交流。刘海粟在1929-1931年间创作的大量油画风景画,具有明显的印象派、后印象派、野兽派画风,其中多件作品还专门选取他心仪的现代主义诸画派画家的视角进行现场写生。[19]  旅欧回国后刘海粟致力于编写《西画苑》,系统介绍西方现代主义诸画派,尤其对后印象派、野兽派极为推崇。此书尤其擅长将西方现代主义诸画派与中国古代传统书画做对比联系,这一点也是蔡元培一贯喜用的方式。整个30年代,刘海粟在上海的影响更加广泛,追随者众,这更加速了当时在法国学院派之外流行的现代主义诸画派在上海的发展和接受度。热衷于立体主义的庞薰琹及“决澜社”对形式语言的探索、衷情于巴黎画派的张弦、进行印象派探索的潘玉良、唐蕴玉,色粉画大家李超士、热衷于点彩派的周碧初,他们在留法前后都与刘海粟及上海有紧密联系。 概而论之,20世纪上半叶众多的留法艺术家们,既接受了“科学”的西方学院派古典主义、写实主义、现实主义美术,也带回了“民主”的西方现代主义诸流派,他们共同为20世纪初期中国美术带来了传统书画体系之外的油画(西画、西洋画)、雕塑、素描、色粉、水彩等新的美术类别和新的美术观念,甚至与之相关的新的生活方式,从而成为活跃在中国20世纪上半叶的重要群体之一,奠基、开拓、改变、丰富了20世纪上半叶中国美术的发展。正如前文所述,在20世纪上半叶中国美术转型的历史节点上,留法艺术家们选择了将中国美术由传统走向现代的发展之路,从而成为20世纪中国美术现代性文化诉求的先驱者和践行者,成为中国美术从传统向现代转型的奠基者、开拓者。无论是那些倾向于西方学院派古典主义、写实主义、现实主义的“科学”的现代性诉求之路探索的先驱们,还是那些接近西方现代主义诸流派的“民主”的现代性诉求之路的前行者们,都殊途同归,共同促进了20世纪上半叶中国美术现代性的发展,并推动了20世纪中国美术基本面貌的形成与演变。作者|红梅(“留法大展”策展人、中央美院副教授、硕士生导师、中央美院美术馆理论出版部主任)原文发表于《美术研究》2019年02期 注:[1]王如玖于1906年被清政府北洋速成武备学堂第一批官派赴法学习陆军,但在1911年,他放弃军事学习,转学到巴黎高等美校和布尔德尔雕塑工作室,学习油画和雕塑。吴法鼎于1911年公派赴法留学研习法律,同年转学巴黎高等美校学习油画。[2]这就是为什么本次展览题目“先驱之路:留法艺术家与中国现代美术(1911-1949)”(以下简称留法大展)中标示的时间是从1911年,而不是惯常采用的民国元年,即1912年的主要原因。当然,从历史学的角度看,作为“辛亥革命”的1911年也非常重要,尤其是“辛亥革命”激发起的“民主”、“科学”思想,与本展览和本文关系密切。令笔者感到欣慰的是,在这次留法大展的专题研究中,历史学和艺术史断代完美重合。[3]李超士于1912年入法国巴黎瑟尔曼图画学校,后转入巴黎高等美校。[4]方君璧于1912年入法国波尔多省立美校,1919年考入巴黎高等美校,与徐悲鸿同考同入学。[5]徐悲鸿于1918年5月14日在北大画法研究会演讲《中国画改良之方法》,之后,《北京大学日刊》的“画法研究会纪事十九”,于 5月23、24、25日三天连载徐悲鸿的演讲词,并增加了附录。[6]陈独秀在文章开篇即说:“若想把中国画改良,首先要革王画的命。因为要改良中国画,断不能不采用洋画的写实精神。”并在文末提出“……若不打倒着(这里指王画),实是输入写实主义,改良中国画的最大障碍”。[7]引自:赵力,余丁主编:《中国油画文献》,湖南美术出版社,2002年,第413页。[8]本次留法大展中徐悲鸿的《杨仲子全家福》、《箫声》等作品即是典型。[9]引自《陈独秀著作选编》第一卷,上海人民出版社,2009年,第162页。[10]德先生:民主的英文Democracy音译的简称;赛先生:科学的英文Science音译的简称。[11]《陈独秀著作选编》第二卷,第10页。[12]林风眠1918年年底随留法的勤工俭学团来到巴黎。1920年2月入法国第戎国立美校,1920年9月转学巴黎高等美校,与徐悲鸿同学于柯罗蒙工作室。[13]林风眠信奉托尔斯泰“艺术是人的情感的表现”说,也信奉蔡元培“美育代宗教”说,这构成了他的基本艺术观。这一点在他1927发表的《致全国艺术界书》的长文中有详细阐述。[14]1920年,林风眠进入法国第戎国立美术学院学习油画,得到第戎美术学院院长杨西斯(Yancesse)的赏识,并经常告诫他不要只学习学院派,尤其不要成为学院派的一员。[15]色彩运用、色调处理方面,可以从此次“留法大展”中展出的约作于1926年的《思》,又名《哀思》中领略。此作品画的是林风眠的第一任夫人,德国少女罗拉。1924年他们在德国相识,很快进入热恋并结婚。然而罗拉不幸于1925年死于产褥热,林风眠一度非常悲痛。此作品应该是林风眠在罗拉去世后不久根据记忆创作而成。画中罗拉紧闭双眼,寓意美人已逝。这幅作品的黑白图版被陈抱一收录在1929年再版的《人体之美》一书中,是难得一见的林风眠早期油画。此作品典型地富有野兽派的色彩,立体派的形式构成,以及德国表现主义的象征性和表现性。[16]1939年董希文从北平艺专和杭州艺专两校合并的国立艺专毕业,经学校推荐,作为留法预备班学生到越南河内巴黎国立高等美术学院分院学习,受到法国教师指导,并看到不少西欧画册及原作,同时接触到色彩浓郁的越南漆画艺术。因战事爆发,国内官费停止,被迫提前回国。这一段在越南河内巴黎美专分院的学习,使董希文直接接触到法国学院派古典主义绘画技法及审美经验的训练,构成他日后独特油画语言及个人风格形成的重要因素。1946年6月,董希文结束长达10年的漂泊生活,回到故乡杭州父母身边。董希文运用从越南河内巴黎美专分院学习到的学院派古典主义绘画技法,为父母画了这两幅肖像画,以此表达对年迈父母的敬意和长期分离的思念之情。由于董希文不是在地理意义上的法国接受到法国学院派古典主义教育,遂成为此次“留法展”中唯一一位没有踏上法国国土的“留法”分院艺术家。将董希文纳入此次“留法展”,希望引起学术界的深度讨论,从不同视角探讨留法艺术家的文化影响。[17]蔡元培:《巴黎万国美术工艺博览会中国会场陈列品目录序》,引自金雅主编:《中国现代美学名家文丛:蔡元培卷》,浙江大学出版社,2009年。[18]引自:赵力,余丁主编《中国油画文献》,湖南美术出版社,2002年,第448-449页。[19]如此次展览中的《秋葵》是向凡高致敬,《威斯敏斯达落日》是向莫奈致敬,《罗丹的模特》是向马蒂斯致敬。主要参考书目:李泽厚著:《中国思想史编》,安徽文艺出版社,1999年汪辉著:《现代中国思想的兴起》,三联书店,2008年史全生主编:《中华民国文化史》,吉林文史出版社,1990年李铸晋、万青力著:《中国现代绘画史》,浙江大学出版社,2012年赵力、余丁主编:《中国油画文献》,湖南美术出版社,2002年王震编著:《徐悲鸿年谱长编》,上海画报出版社,2006年 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冻结你凝视的目光 | 布鲁诺·瓦尔波特的雕刻魔力...

2019-03-15 238 people interested

布鲁诺·瓦尔波特以一种神秘的方式,成功地给自己的人物赋予了一种情感距离,由此使人物躯体摆脱了雕塑材料,并且以现实主义方式创造了一种形而上的存在所需要的空间。其结果就是一种力,一种可供移动腾挪的空间,使观赏者可以体验一场沉默的自我邂逅。 ...More

Re-discussion on the Curatorial Structure of “Pioneering: Chinese Artists Abroad in France and Chinese Modern Art” Exhibition...

2019-03-07 299 people interested

When a country falls and its power declines, it is imperative to take reform. After the May Fourth New Culture Movement, the “tide of studying abroad”, as a way to transform China and make it strong, became one of the most characteristic phenomenon of Chinese art at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Studying in Japan, France, and later the Soviet Union were three routes of studying abroad and became three holy lands for Chinese art moving towards modernity. If “studying in Japan” was the beginning of China’s entry into formal art education, then “studying in France” established the system and pattern of Chinese modern art development. The “Pioneering” exhibition traces the violent history of Chinese artists studying in France as well as its influence on the modern advancement of Chinese art. Retrospect is for looking into the future firmly. In the early 20th century, despite frequent wars, it was full of stories, and the development of the reform promoted the exchange and integration of ideas across regions and cultures. In the past two years, more and more early case studies have been conducted, but a large-scale academic review is still in short supply, so this grand exhibition is planned and organized under such a background. On the occasion of the continental celebration of CAFA, it mobilizes academic resources, as CAFA Art Museum calls up a curatorial team from multiple channels to construct this exhibition, inviting experts and scholars who have conducted an in-depth research on the field of “studying abroad in France”, including Dong Song, Philippe CINQUINI, Liu Libin, Jiang Mingyang, to participate in the curating work. After carefully checking historical materials and searching for missing pieces of works, the curatorial team sorted out the final appearance of the exhibition from interlaced clues. The topic of the exhibition involves multiple perspectives, such as the spread of Western modern art in China, the transformation of Chinese art to modernity, and the starting point of Chinese modern art education, and so on. With compact structure and grand scale the cultural phenomenon of “studying abroad in France” is deeply explored and presented in the exhibition.Oil painting comes from the West, and the establishment of its discourse subject is inseparable from the way of teaching and learning. At that time, France was the center of world art, China was in the climax of the tide of “Studying Abroad in France”, and Europe was also on the node of transition from classical tradition to various trends of modern art. When the first batch of Chinese artist studying in France returned to China, they displayed their talent to build schools, resume education, start publications, and hold exhibitions in devastation, and put the artistic concepts and techniques they learned in France into practice in the social soil of China. Their drastic speculation on modern art was like a ripple in the pool of China. How to comb through this complex history without having any prejudice? The curator Hong Mei mentions that when it comes to the transformation of Chinese art in the first half of the 20th century, whether they were pioneers of exploration who tended to modern appeals of Western classical academia school and Realism, or those forerunners who were on the road of modern appeal approaching various Western modernist schools, they jointly propelled the formation and development of the basic appearance of Chinese art in the 20th century. From this way of thinking, the exhibition set up an open space for showing them on the same stage. As the exhibition clues move forward, the diverse and rich artistic ideas of these artists of that time are presented in a broader framework, and finally back to the central theme.In the premise of following the above-mentioned curatorial ideas, the details of the exhibition are also made clear with more designs that fit in the whole picture. The presentation starts with the works of Wu Fading and Wang Rujiu who were among the first artists studying in France and ends with Liu Ziming, the last artist who studied in France in 1949. Xu Beihong was the first student to study in France at public expense, and many vital works created by him during his study in France are displayed at the beginning of the exhibition. Wu Guanzhong and Zhao Wuji went to France at the end of the whole trend, and directly opened the prelude of another era in their entire artistic creation. The well-planned layout of square shape, both objective and monolithic, not only give consideration to the personal appearance of the artists but also points to the deep reasons and driving forces for the formation of the phenomenon of studying in France. It concentratedly reproduces the scene of the mixed group of students studying in France who pursued Modernism, which touches the audience’s heart after watching the exhibition. In addition to the masterpieces of famous painters, the curator Hong Mei has done much hard work to select works and complete the list of exhibits in the process of sorting. The exhibition excavates and brings out the works of artists such as Xie Touba, Guo Yinglin, Wang Rujiu, Li Fengbai, Lei Guiyuan, Liu Ziming, and so on, which enables the works of many artists studying in France who have faded out of mainstream art history to be exposed to the public again. The scholar Dong Song traces the historical data of Guo Yinglin, an artist missing in the history circle for a long time, and makes the three Guo Yinglin’s paintings, which have been covered with dust in CAFA Art Museum for many years, be shown to the public for the first time, which attracts the attention of experts and scholars again, and also reflects the curatorial team’s respect for original history appearance as well as their self-consciousness for mining historical materials.Among the courses selected by many artists who studied in France, oil painting, sketch and sculpture were the main subjects. However, due to the small amount of existing historical materials and objects of early sculptures, the research on sculpture and modern sculpture has been quite difficult as it has been in a weak position. In this “Pioneering” exhibition, apart from the clues from canvas works, the sculpture section “Chinese Sculptors Who Studied in France: Chinese Artists Abroad in France and Chinese Modern Sculpture” that curated by Liu Libin is another highlight of the exhibition and forms a complementary perspective.This special exhibition uses three sections to review the main activities of sculptors who studied in France. From a large number of raw materials, images and works on display, it is surprising to find that their creation styles are quite distinct. During their time in France, their nude portraits showed the exact proportions of the human body, in line with the artistic aesthetic expression techniques, and many works even won the salon award. With the development need of Chinese monument sculpture and urban space, a large number of public sculpture projects have been promoted. In order to make sculpture survive in the realistic soil, these sculptors made more explorations, changes, and practices in the combination of Western sculpture and traditional Chinese sculpture.Due to these complex historical reasons, in order to highlight the academic value and practical significance of modern Chinese sculpture in the first half of the 20th century, curator Liu Libin led a shooting team to Chongqing, Chengdu, and other cities to search for the public sculpture that inspired people during the Anti-Japanese War. By using aerial photos and holographic projection, they try their best to bring the audience close to the context in which these sculptures were created, through showing original works, presenting graphics and texts, and restoring public sculptures with 3D reconstruction. Among them, Liu Kaiqu’s “Monument of Unknown Heroes” is presented vividly with the high-tech way of 3D images, which is an innovative way to attract viewers to have a more comprehensive and multi-level understanding of the pioneers of modern sculpture.The man who eats the fruit thinks of the tree, and the man who drinks the water thinks of the source. Tracking back to the cause of knowledge and context, the special exhibition “Chinese Artists Abroad in France and Their French Teachers”, combs through the influence of those French teachers on Chinese artists who had studied in France, and thus leads to a hidden clue that promoted the formation of Modernist ideas of Chinese artists – French teachers. Curator Philip CINQUINI has conducted a profound study on Xu Beihong as well as the learning process and teacher-student relationship of Chinese artists studying in France in the early of the 20th century. From this point of view, compared with the migration process of different technical elements moving from one civilization to another, it is more important that artists absorbed these elements from France and practice them in China. During the process, the connection built between Chinese artists and French artists had played a crucial role.In this special exhibition, the curator selected the works from four French artist of Academism of École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris (ENSBA): Fernand Cormon, Paul Albert Besnard, Pascal DAGNAN-BOUVERET, and Francois Flameng; the artists who had associated with the modernist movement of the early 20th century; early Faurist painter Othon Friesz, and two French Cubist painters Andre Lhote and Jean Souverbie. They either taught or directly trained at independent colleges and had a direct impact on the thinking of Chinese students in the process of teaching them. The exhibition also presents the works of French teachers who had traveled to China or Asia to teach, such as André Maire, who had taught Dong Xiwen at the branch school of ENSBA in Hanoi, Vietnam. André Claudot used to teach at Beiping Art School in Beijing and then went to Hangzhou with Lin Fengmian.In this special section, all the details of Chinese artists taking Western painters as the reference gather together and eventually lead to the history of the direction selection and appearance formation of Chinese art transformation in the first half of the 20th century. It also brings about the profound issue about choosing artistic view in the past a hundred years of exploration.In 1917, Cai Yuanpei, Li Shizeng and other artists established the Sino-French Education Association and a Work-Study program in Beijing. For that, a large number of art students gained the opportunity to study in France under a study-work basis. There were more than one hundred art students studying in France, and in addition to ENSBA, many students spent their time in private studios, becoming the largest number of international students at that time. In an era of great changes, the pioneering students studied with determination and perseverance, endured the loneliness of being in a foreign country, and pursued true knowledge of art while feeling the free air of art in France at that time, and then continuously prompted the emergence of different associations. The well-known ones include “Hopps Association”, “The Association of Chinese Artists in France”, “Chinese Art Society in France”, and so on. On April 2, 1933, The Association of Chinese Artists in France was founded at Chang Shuhong’s residence in Paris, France. Chang Shuhong expressed in the article “The Establishment of The Association of Chinese Artists in France” (published in the special issue for the Association of Chinese Artists in France, No.8, Volume 2, Yifeng magazine) that, “we feel deeply comforted in spirit by the freedom to comment on the state of the art world and art problems, yet in order to consolidate our foundation and develop our external cause, it seems that we need an appropriate organization.” By April 1934, the Association of Chinese Artists in France had held 16 meetings in one year (according to Li Han’s preliminary study on the artists’ group of the Association of Chinese Artists in France in 1930s). It went through several different historical periods and continued to play a role until around 1950. In 1984, the last president of the association, Mr. Pan Yuliang, returned to China with relevant materials, which enabled the data of the association activities after 1934 to be able to enter the research field, and scholar Dong Song made an in-depth study on it. Dong Song and Jiang Mingyang jointly curated the special exhibition of “A Village in a Foreign Land: Association of Chinese Artists Abroad in France”, and based on the analysis of the three historical development stages of the association to present relevant materials to the audience completely for the first time. Within the exhibition, there is a member list of the association, which involves more than 110 artists from the first session to the reelection of it in 1945, and includes information collected about them: portrait, birth and death year, birthplace, subject, and the period of their stay in France. It is a collection and presentation of precious academic historical materials. However, over the turbulent years, it has been difficult to verify the birth and death years of some artists and find their photo materials. Without the carrying out of these research works, they would disappear into the long history.To some extent, this special exhibition serves as documentary support for the main exhibition. Through essays, letters, manuscripts, photos of activities, original works that created for fundraising the Anti-Japanese War, and other valuable objects and documents, intertwined organically with visual works of other exhibition areas, the viewers can read the artists’ minds, perceive their context, and then dig out a lot of dramatic stories behind them. As a warm place and spiritual home for those living and studying in France, the association had carried their ideals and persistence, their meetings and partings, providing a silhouette to see the ups and downs of the trend of “Studying Abroad in France”. ...More
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