Authors: Kuiyi Shen and Julia F. Andrews
In the last decade, contemporary Chinese art has taken the art world by storm through heralded museum exhibitions, well-read publications, and heavily attended art auctions. However, despite all this attention, few exhibitions have asked the question of how—against the background of thirty-five years of Socialist Realism—this internationally-oriented artwork appeared and why it captured the attention of the international art market. Blooming in the Shadows: Unofficial Chinese Art, 1974-1985 will introduce the work of three unofficial Chinese art groups who worked in this vein: the Wuming (No Names), the Xingxing (Stars), and the Caocao (Grass Society)—all of which arose following the end of the Cultural Revolution and helped launch the avant-garde movement in China. These artists pursued creatively diverse paths to personal artistic freedom under the harsh political circumstances of the time. This exhibition catalogue will examine work produced by these three significant groups of young artists in the critical decade after the end of the Cultural Revolution leading up to the Communist party’s 1985 decision to allow modern artistic practices.
Exhibition catalog, 2011. Paperback, 137 pages: ill.