China: The New Contemporary Painting presents the works of 18 artists working in the medium today. Some of the paintings shown in this volume provide insight into China's current cultural, social, and political climate while drawing on methods and styles of traditional Chinese art--delicate and intricate ink painting, calligraphy, etc. Conversely, others choose not to draw from the past but relate instead to Western ideas and interpretations. Contains paintings by Zhang Xiaogang, Feng Zhenjie, Zhou Thiehai, Yang Quian, Zhang Xiaotao, He Sen, Shi Xinning, Li Songsong, Li Dafang, Wang Xingwei, Fu Hong, Zheng Hao, Zheng Fanzhi, Wei Guangqing, Wu Yiming, Ma Liuming, and Jam Qimsong. China has made a remarkable transformation to a diverse market economy during the past two decades, and nowhere is this change more dramatically expressed than in the visual arts that are booming in China today.
-Catherine Meurer, CNN Interactive Essays by Eleonora Battiston and Shu Yang.
Foreword by Francesca Jordon.
Afterword Vittoria Coen. Hardcover, 9.5 x 11.75 in./272 pgs / 250 color.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 12.7" Width: 9.3" Height: 0.8" Weight: 5.25 lbs.
Release Date Mar 15, 2005
ISBN 8889431075 ISBN13 9788889431078
Impressive in appearance but far from comprehensvie Apr 2, 2008
The fairly brief introductory essays discuss the rapid change in art in China since the death of Mao Zedong, and the influences that have fuelled it. Each artist featured in the book has a paragraph's worth of introduction, and there is a discussion on China's Photographic Painting. The illustrations begin on page 25 and run through to page 297; the book concludes with a brief biography for each artist. There is no contents page and no index.
The book features seventeen artists, including Zhang Xiaogang with his passive faces and Zeng Fanzhi's mask paintings. However notably missing are Yue Minjun and his smiling face paintings, Tang Zhigang's "children" paintings, Liu Xiaodong's very western looking work, and Cai Guo-Qiang whose set of fourteen drawings sold recently (November 2007) at double its estimate at over 8.5 million USD. (Upon reflection if one can obtain a copy, the lavishly illustrated and very substantial two volume catalogue of that auction, Christie's Asian Contemporary Art, 25th November 2007, provides a far more illuminating and comprehensive survey of art in China today.) But perhaps such omissions are indicative of the rapid changes in art in China today, and the artists represented do give some indication of the wide range of work, Realist, Pop influenced and more (but no pure Abstract included here), that is being produced in China now. However the work included here is predominantly portrait or figurative (in the modern rather then the traditional sense), there are a very few examples of other genres.
This large format book itself is very impressive in appearance, the illustrations are all in full-colour and almost all full-page size with a few double page spreads, occasionally presented against a black ground; there is probably a total in excess of 250 illustrations in all. It makes for a very handsome looking book, but a little short on information.
China Contemporary Painting Mar 30, 2008
If you are looking for a coffee table book with 17 of the best known contemporary Chinese artists, this is the book for you. This is a clever selection of figurative art (no abstract artists, & don't even look for landscapes). Beautifully illustrated, rather short on text.