I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
This past spring the famed Art Institute of Chicago held a major solo exhibition for Xu Longsen, marking an important milestone in the presentation of contemporary Chinese ink landscape art in the United States. At West Bund Art & Design 2018, Hanart TZ Gallery is pleased to present works by Xu Longsen that further explore the way the monumental landscape art of this modern master creates a completely new method of display within a contemporary architectural context.
Xu Longsen is renowned for his unique approach to melding the vocabulary of traditional ink painting into the language of contemporary art. Breaking through the spatial limitations of the traditional manner of display and challenging architectural space, Xu Longsen opens up limitless new possibilities for the future of ink art.
About Xu Longsen
Xu Longsen's art underscores the continued relevance of shanshui (Chinese ink landscape) painting in the contemporary world, and the monumentality and layered delicacy of his vistas offer a new realm of encounter for a contemporary audience.
Xu Longsen's landscapes challenge the monumentality of modern architecture with their imposing presences. His monumental installations, recently shown at the Museum of Roman Civilization in Italy (2011) and the Palace of Justice in Belgium (2009), astonished viewers with their breathtaking effects that seem to challenge the edifices of architecture with natural peaks that burst through the confines of manmade space. The sublimity hinted at by Chinese classical landscapes here manifests itself in physical presence.
Xu's art is both a radical departure from, and an homage to, the past. His position within the lineage of this important tradition was recognized in the invitation by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 2013 when he was invited to exhibit his immense horizontal landscape together with the museum's famous collection of masterwork paintings from the 10th to 18th century.
In Spring 2018, the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago presented Xu Longsen's solo exhibition Light of Heaven (February through June 2018), marking the first time the Art Institute has presented an exhibition of contemporary ink painting. Xu's massive installation consists of a set of pillars molded from felt and painted with layers of ink wash, along with a number of breathtaking landscape paintings—all inspired by the mythological Mount Kunlun, home to many Chinese gods and goddesses. With this site-specific installation, Xu again creates an impressive dialogue with the architecture of the site of display, evoking a sense of aesthetic and physical fusion.
Xu Longsen was born in Shanghai in 1956, and graduated from the Shanghai Arts and Crafts College in 1976. He currently lives in Beijing.
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