Contains a stunning array of previously unpublished material, including a new essay on the life and work of master Chinese artist, Liu Dan
Beautifully bound in cloth with embossed artist signature
“Your one responsibility as an artist is changing the visual experience of people, the way they look at things. Your one purpose is to encourage an openness of mind that allows them to look beyond everyday concerns and think freely," says Liu Dan, one of 21st century China's leading artists. Born in 1953 in the ancient capital of Nanjing, he was sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution where secretly he was able to study Renaissance and other Western painting, training his eye on small black and white photographs hiden by a friend. As a small boy the artist had learned from his grandfather Confucian classics, poetry and calligraphy and his adult life has passed between the discordant worlds of East and West, 25 years of them spent in America. Recognized as a living master of ink painting, the artist has been exhibited across China, America and Europe; his art is found in collections, including the British Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum (Harvard), Musee Guimet, Paris, San Diego Museum of Art, the Andre Mellon Foundation, and the Ashmolean Museum, whose show on the artist is the basis of this book. The Ashmolean houses one of the world's finest collec6tions of Old master drawings and selected Italian metalpoint drawings are also included in the book.
The museums and galleries that have displayed Liu Dan are not limited to those with a history of showing Chinese or Asian art, but include those that specialize in contemporary art. In the thriving public and private global markets for contemporary Chinese art there are few artists, and still fewer painters, who are active so successfully across so many contexts. Liu Dan is a painter whose equal facility with classical and modern China sets him apart.
His works are set alongside those of Fra Bartolommeo, Sandro Botticelli, Da Vinci and Raphael. The introduction provides a history of Chinese art, the conventions that surrounded its works on paper for more than 1,000 years from the time of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1279).
Contents: Director's Foreword; Introduction; Nanjing; Artistic Lineage; Education and Early Career; Rocks, Rock Paintings and the Literati Tradition; Liu Dan and the Masters 1: Ni Zan (1301-1374); Materials and Techniques; Liu Dan and the Masters 2: Raphael (1483-1520); Rocks and Landscapes; Catalogue; Notes; Chronology; Further Reading; Acknowledgements.
Shelagh Vainker is senior curator of Chinese Art at the Ashmolean Museum.