'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...
The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...
On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...
Andre Kneib (b. 1952) is a native of Alsace-Lorraine, France. In 1988, he received a Doctorate in Chinese Studies from the University of Paris 7. Today, he is maître de conferences, teaching Chinese civilization at the National School of Oriental Languages (INALCO), Paris and at the University of Paris 4, Sorbonne.
The most recent work by Andre Kneib in many ways represents the consummation of an artistic journey that began with an event that would prove pivotal to his artistic development. It was during his studies of the traditional art of Chinese calligraphy at Nanjing University that his perceptive master, Professor Ding Hao, encouraged him to bring something from his own French cultural heritage to his practice of calligraphy.
It was the graceful brushwork and elan of the colorful canvases of the late German-born French painter Hans Hartung (1904-1989) that would prove especially inspirational to Kneib. Never content simply to replicate the art of the past, Andre Kneib set out on a transcultural quest that would ultimately prove revelatory for the younger generation of contemporary calligraphers that came to his exhibitions in China.
Perhaps the single most important contribution that Andre Kneib makes to the development of modem Chinese calligraphy is the introduction of color as integral to the formal structure and emotional tenor of the written character. In some works, subtle inflections of color serve to accent the highly gestured movements and shapes of the ink brushstrokes. In other works, such as Shandian, Leclaire (Flash of Lightning), color forms the very body and flesh of the character as subtle modulations in the saturation and suffusion of hues add a most evocative dimension and depth within the brushstrokes.
To the measured rhythm of the brushstrokes as they unfold in the time of the writing of Chinese characters, Andre Kneib now introduces veils of color, a feature derived from Western visual culture. In doing so, he has defined an entirely new range of truly transcultural formal and expressive issues for contemporary calligraphers inside and outside China to explore.
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