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,...
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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