Sitting in a Zen-inspired studio in a converted school building on the Lower East Side, the Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang bemoaned how his native country’s art is often squeezed between pronouncements of record auction prices and denouncements of China’s one-party political system when it is presented in the United States and to some extent Europe. In Western eyes, a Chinese artist is either a market phenom, like the Gagosian artist Zeng Fanzhi, or a renegade, like Ai Weiwei.
This is what Mr. Cai is seeking to redress in What About the Art?: Contemporary Art from China, an exhibition he has organized for the Qatar Museums Gallery Al Riwaq in Doha. Featuring 14 artists and one artist-collaborative duo, the show, which runs through July 16, examines the contributions of Chinese artists to the international canon of contemporary art, focusing on their innovations.