What does a Chinese artist do in a time of chaos and oppression? Flee to the mountains, to the wilderness, of course, to cultivate upright Confucian values, write poetry, paint paintings, and, naturally, drink some tea and lots of wine. And in the paintings, he might hide some delicately rendered political commentary. But Arnold Chang, America’s modern master in Chinese painting whose paintings are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and many others, is more interested in the art than the politics. In a very special personal and scholarly talk, Chang will share his insights into the meaning and artistry of Chinese painting, from ancient times to today, and then join a conversation with Chinese art expert Jane DeBevoise, Co-Chair of Asia Art Archive.
This event is part of Carnegie Hall’s Voices of Hope festival.
Arnold Chang (Zhang Hong 張洪) is America’s most celebrated master of Chinese painting. Chang co-founded the Department of Chinese Paintings at Sotheby’s, running the department for fifteen years, and he later joined Kaikodo, New York, a prestigious gallery of Asian Art. He has taught at Columbia University, Arizona State University, Connecticut College and elsewhere, and has published many articles on Chinese painting. His own works have been exhibited and collected by numerous museums and private collections throughout the world.
Chang, whose parents came from China, was born in New York City in 1954. While still in High School he took Chinese calligraphy lessons with Wang Jiyuan (王濟遠). He received a BA in East Asian Studies from the University of Colorado, during which time he spent his Junior year in Taiwan and learned landscape painting from Guo Yanqiao (郭燕嶠). He went on to receive a master’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied Art History with James Cahill. Chang met the renowned artist/collector C. C. Wang (王己千) in California and moved back to New York to study painting and connoisseurship with him for the next twenty-five years.
Jane DeBevoise is Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Asia Art Archive in Hong Kong and Chair of Asia Art Archive in America in New York. Prior to moving to Hong Kong in 2002, Ms. DeBevoise was Deputy Director of the Guggenheim Museum, responsible for museum operations and exhibitions globally. She joined the Museum in 1996 as Project Director of China: 5000 Years, a large-scale exhibition of traditional and modern Chinese art that was presented in 1998 at the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao. Ms. DeBevoise has a MA from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD from The University of Hong Kong. Her book Between State and Market: Chinese Contemporary Art in the Post-Mao Era was published in 2014 by Brill. Other publications include the co-authored Uncooperative Contemporaries: Exhibitions in Shanghai in 2000, published in 2020 by Afterall Books.