As one of the most outstanding and representative artists concentrating on prints in Yan’an, Gu Yuan has become one of the classics of China’s new printmakers. His works feature a strong local flavor and unique ethnic and geographical characteristics.
Xu Beihong once commented on Gu’s works at the National Exhibition of Woodcuts, by saying, “I find an extraordinary talent in the Chinese art world at 15:00 on October 15 in the 31 Years of the Republic of China, he is Gu Yuan, the great artist from the Chinese Communist Party.” His appraisal is not only from his recognition of Gu Yuan’s achievement in art but also from Gu’s works which have become a testament to the Yan’an period. Xu Bing once described his special relationship with Gu Yuan as “to be exact, Gu Yuan and his art work coordinate in the network of my mind which is like several important “points” in a chess manual. I always come across it during my search or when I need to “identify”. It works as a problem and reference which I have to face and cannot avoid.”
Throughout the ages art has always had an avant-garde spirit of revolution while Gu Yuan’s classical style grew from the “life of the Chinese people” rather than “drama of the Chinese people”. Assisted by Gu Ancun who is the daughter of Gu Yuan, it is the first time for all of Gu’s original woodcuts on the occasion of the 92th anniversary of Gu’s birth to be exhibited. Curator Li Fan attempts to explore which value will last forever, which kind of spirit passes away and who will be repeatedly mentioned through time as extremely precious cultural heritage.
Gu Yuan (1919-1996) is a renowned Chinese artist using print and watercolor as his medium. In 1938, he studied at Lu Xun Art School, and after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, he was appointed as head of the Creation Studio at the People’s Fine Art Publishing House, professor and President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Artists’ Association, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Print Media Artists’ Association, honorary Chairman of Beijing Watercolor Painting Research Institution. His representative works include a New Year picture of Chairman Mao Talking with Farmers, prints such as Rent Reducing Meeting, Burning the Old Title Deeds, Human Bridge, Liu Zhidan and Red Guard, Light in Date Garden, etc. Many of his works were also published such as the Selection of Gu Yuan Woodcuts, Selection of Gu Yuan Watercolors , etc.
Specially Invited Exhibition Woodcut Prints by Gu Yuan in Yan’an
Artist: Gu Yuan
Opening Ceremony: 10am, August 5, 2011
Duration: August 7-19,2011
Venue: 2nd floor exhibition hall of building 2, the Today Art Museum