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Art and China's revolution / Melissa Chiu and Zheng Shengtian ; with essays by Roderick MacFarquhar ... [and others].

By: Chiu, Melissa.
Contributor(s): Zheng, Sheng Tian, 1938- | Asia Society.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : New Haven : Asia Society ; In association with Yale University Press, c2008Description: xi, 259 pages : illustrations (some color), col. map ; 33 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780300140644(hbk).Subject(s): Art, Chinese -- 20th century -- Exhibitions | Socialist realism in art -- China -- Exhibitions | China -- History -- Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976 -- Art and the revolution -- ExhibitionsDDC classification:
Contents:
Foreword / Vishakha N. Desai -- Preface / Melissa Chiu -- The Art of Mao's Revolution / Melissa Chiu -- Art and Revolution: Looking Back at Thirty Years of History / Zheng Shengtian -- The Cultural Revolution / Roderick MacFarquhar -- Politics in Command: Chinese Art, 1949-1979 / Ralph Croizier -- Noble Winds and Strong Bones Meet Their Spirit: The Art of Pan Tianshou / Pan Gongkai -- Thunder Sounding amid the Silence / Zhao Yannian -- Painting Mao / Yan Shanchun -- Chen Yanning's Chairman Mao Inspects the Guangdong Countryside / Yan Shanchun -- Xu Bing: Artist Notes / Melissa Chiu -- Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan: A Conversation with the Artist Liu Chunhua / Zheng Shengtian -- The Fate of a Painting / Shen Jiawei -- Propaganda Posters and Art during the Cultural Revolution / Kuiyi Shen -- A Pictorial Record of the Cultural Revolution: Luo Zhongli's Early Works / Wang Lin -- No Name Group: Contemporary Recluses - the Bo Yi's and Shu Qi's of the Cultural Revolution / Gao Minglu -- The Red Guards' Fine Arts Campaign / Wang Mingxian -- Long March on the Road of Revolution / Lu Jie -- Mao Zedong: Literature and Art -- Jiang Qing's Discussion with Arts Workers -- Summary of the Proceedings of the Forum on Literature and Art in the Armed Forces, Convened by Comrade Jiang Qing with the Endorsement of Comrade Lin Biao.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A groundbreaking look at art made in China during the Cultural Revolution

Although numerous books on the Cultural Revolution have been published, they do not analyze the profound shift in aesthetic values that occurred in China after the Communists took power. This fascinating book is the first to focus on artwork produced from the 1950s to the 1970s, when Mao Zedong was in leadership, and argues that important contributions were made during this period that require fuller consideration in Chinese art history, especially with relevance to the contemporary world.


Previously, historians have tended to dismiss the art of the Cultural Revolution as pure propaganda. The authors of this volume (historians, art historians, and artists) argue that while much art produced during this time was infused with politics, and individual creativity and displays of free thought were sometimes stifled and even punished, it is short sighted to overlook the aesthetic sophistication, diversity, and accessibility of much of the imagery.


Bringing together more than 200 extraordinary artworks, including oil paintings, ink scroll paintings, artist sketchbooks, posters, and objects from daily life, as well as primary documentation that has not been published outside of China or seen since the mid-20th century, this invaluable volume sheds new light on one of the most controversial and critical periods in history.

Published on the occasion of an exhibition organized by the Asia Society in New York held Sept. 5, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009.

Includes bibliographical references (p. 246-249) and index.

Foreword / Vishakha N. Desai -- Preface / Melissa Chiu -- Introduction. The Art of Mao's Revolution / Melissa Chiu -- Art and Revolution: Looking Back at Thirty Years of History / Zheng Shengtian -- The Cultural Revolution / Roderick MacFarquhar -- Politics in Command: Chinese Art, 1949-1979 / Ralph Croizier -- Noble Winds and Strong Bones Meet Their Spirit: The Art of Pan Tianshou / Pan Gongkai -- Thunder Sounding amid the Silence / Zhao Yannian -- Painting Mao / Yan Shanchun -- Chen Yanning's Chairman Mao Inspects the Guangdong Countryside / Yan Shanchun -- Xu Bing: Artist Notes / Melissa Chiu -- Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan: A Conversation with the Artist Liu Chunhua / Zheng Shengtian -- The Fate of a Painting / Shen Jiawei -- Propaganda Posters and Art during the Cultural Revolution / Kuiyi Shen -- A Pictorial Record of the Cultural Revolution: Luo Zhongli's Early Works / Wang Lin -- No Name Group: Contemporary Recluses - the Bo Yi's and Shu Qi's of the Cultural Revolution / Gao Minglu -- The Red Guards' Fine Arts Campaign / Wang Mingxian -- Long March on the Road of Revolution / Lu Jie -- Mao Zedong: Literature and Art -- Jiang Qing's Discussion with Arts Workers -- Summary of the Proceedings of the Forum on Literature and Art in the Armed Forces, Convened by Comrade Jiang Qing with the Endorsement of Comrade Lin Biao.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

It is ironic that the art produced under the Communist government of China during the 20th century gives a glimpse into the production of art under the aegis of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages in Europe. In both cases, artists of great technical ability harnessed their talents to produce masses of propaganda, most barely rising above the level of kitsch. But the difference is that we can interview the painters who glorified Mao in an effort to understand the cultural forces that shaped their output. And a curious story it is, combining the change of China's artistic outlook from traditional ink painting to Western-style painting and the powerful swirl of politics that made a literal life-or-death difference to some prominent artists. In this catalog to an exhibition at the Asia Society in New York, Chiu (director, Asia Society Museum) and independent curator Zheng include 16 essays on specific artists, artworks, or facets of the revolutionary art movement. Thoughtful but not too dense, the essays are paired with 200 high-quality illustrations, most in color, of finished artworks and preliminary sketches. This will be as valuable to Sinologists and political scientists as it is to artists and art historians.-David McClelland, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

This lushly illustrated and highly informative catalogue argues that the art of the Cultural Revolution represents an important cultural movement in China necessary to comprehend both the revolution's context and contemporary Chinese art. Essays and interviews illustrate the collection's focused yet diversified scope: topics range from contemporary artist Zheng Shengtian's reflections on the influence of Soviet art on Chinese artists to portraits of Mao as artistic genre. Of particular note is an instructive introduction to the origins and implications of the Cultural Revolution by Harvard historian Roderick MacFarquhar; an absorbing essay on the No Name group, the Cultural Revolution's first underground art group; a revealing interview with contemporary Chinese artist Xu Bing; and artist Zhao Yannian's rousing, lyrical account of his release from prison and makeshift trial at a struggle session. A useful appendix provides relevant historical documents including Mao's most influential speeches on cultural policy and a chronology of historical and art events from 1949 to 1979. This is a valuable and varied collection for those interested in the fascinating interplay between art and politics during the Cultural Revolution and the period's significance for contemporary China. 150 color and 50 b&w illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

CHOICE Review

Two questions--whether or not propaganda is art, and whether all art is propaganda--will occur to readers of this study of government-sponsored and government-regulated art in China after the communists assumed power in 1949. However, the catalogue and exhibition the study it celebrates do not consider these questions in any fundamental manner. They do chart and examine, from different vantage points, a new revolutionary, comprehensive, and popular art culture (performance art, grand public exhibitions, posters, paintings, public sculptures, prints, and manifestos) evolving from the moment of liberation until after Mao Zedong's death. Multiple authors of 15 stand-alone essays offer a rich array of opinion and remembrance; the most poignant are about or by artists themselves, some supported by the Cultural Revolution and some suppressed and savaged by it. Other essays point out that these decades of cultural change were fertile ground for nurturing the art of today's leading artists and the international celebrity they carry. The important "Historical Documents" section includes Mao's speeches on literature and art, among other documents. But the color and black-and-white artworks are the star feature for readers interested in discarding presumption or prejudice to fully understand the cultural change this art embodies. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. D. K. Dohanian emeritus, University of Rochester

Booklist Review

Based on an exhibition mounted by the Asia Society, this album of visual arts produced during the rule of China by Mao Tse-tung is dominated by images of the revolutionary himself. The Maoist aesthetic, as noted in the preface by Chiu, was an imported imitation of Soviet-style socialist realism, which during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 took the distinct direction of deifying Mao. In case readers doubt what that convulsion of Mao-worship implied for artistic freedom, Chiu has included a testimonial from an artist attacked during the Cultural Revolution. As to the quality of artwork produced under the dictates of Mao's wife, Jiang Qing, a canvas titled Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan (painted in 1967), which was mass-produced in hundreds of millions of copies, is about the best the Cultural Revolution came up with. This tome's 200 images most of which are propaganda productions, although there are examples of traditional Chinese illustration and art-for-art's-sake creations constitute an important record of China's art history, presented in an informative, colorful, and well-produced format.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2008 Booklist