CAFA Art Museum Collection Series: Selected Works of Oil Painting Created in the Period of the National Beiping Art School is on view at the gallery on the fourth floor of CAFA Art Museum from November 27, 2012 through to April 25, 2013. Being a boutique collection exhibition grandly introduced by CAFA Art Museum, it has been chosen as “2012 National Exhibition Season of Brilliant Collection Works from Art Museums in China Organized by the Ministry of Culture”. Meanwhile in order to meet the needs of celebrating Centennial Celebrations of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2018, it can be claimed to be one of the most important projects in its start-up phrase.
The exhibition highlights nearly 40 pieces of the boutique collection of CAFA Art Museum together with lots of precious historical documents. Spanning three decades, it brings together the classic works by renowned artists who had taught or studied at the National Beiping Art School from its establishment in 1918 through to the foundation of CAFA in 1950. It is more than an important retrospective demonstration of the education and outlook of oil painting in the National Beiping Art School, which is of significance for us in order to sort out and comprehend modern oil painting in China as well as its educational development.
China Central Academy of Fine Arts or CAFA is the only advanced academy of Chinese fine arts under the direct charge of the Department of Education in China. It was founded in April, 1950, as a result of a merger between the National Art School in Beiping and the department of fine arts at the third campus of North China University. Mao Zedong wrote the school name. The history of the “National Art School in Beiping” might date back to the founding of the “National School of Fine Arts in Beijing” in 1918, advocated by the notable educator, Cai Yuanpei. It was the first national school of fine arts in Chinese history, and also the beginning of Chinese modern education of fine arts. The former principals of CAFA include Xu Beihong, Jiang Feng, Wu Zuoren, Gu Yuan and Jin Shangyi. Academic research into the National Beiping Art School has not been systematic which did not provide a complete and clear visage for academic circles. During the process of reorganizing its collections, CAFA Art Museum took care in the research and conservation of the works by each faculty and students during the period of the National Beiping Art School and based on which it has put forward the “Selected Display of the National Beiping Art School Collected by CAFA Art Museum”. It expects to present the historical outlook of the art school through gradual organization and clearance and provide first-hand information for future academic study.
This exhibition is the first part of the “Selected Display of National Beiping Art School Collected by CAFA Art Museum” focusing on oil paintings including those of Wu Fading, Li Yishi, Xu Beihong, Wu Zuoren who had made great contributions to Chinese art history, many of which will be the first time to exhibit domestically in recent years. From a unique perspective, the exhibits on display are so precious and significant that many of them are representative works of the artists which have a tremendous impact on the history of Chinese fine arts such as “Trackers” by Wu Zuoren which was created during his study in Belgium, “Skating on the North Sea” by Xiao Shufang, “Dances by Mongolian and Tibetan Women” by Sun Zongwei, “Catching Lice” by Feng Fasi during the Anti-Japanese War, “Make a Pillow of One ‘s Spear Waiting for Daybreak”, “The Unmelted Snow of the Forbidden City”, “Offering Fuel in Snowy Weather” by Ai Zhongixn, “Civilians’ Canteen” by Li Zongjin, “Market at Dong Dan” by Qi Zhenqi, “Meeting of a Peasants’ Group” by Dai Ze and so on.