The History of Eternity: Forty Years of Mao Xuhui 1980-2021
Curator: Dai Zhuoqun
7.10 - 8.26, 2021
Beijing 1st & 2nd Space
Tang Contemporary Art Beijing is delighted to present “The History of Eternity: Forty Years of Mao Xuhui 1980-2021” on July 10, 2021, the largest-scale solo exhibition for the artist to date, across both of its Beijing spaces. This exhibition has been several years in the making, and it is his most comprehensive solo show since “Mao Xuhui: Will” was presented at Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong in early 2020.
This retrospective was curated by Dai Zhuoqun, who chose more than 200 works in a range of media, including oil on canvas, paper, and wood, ink on paper, drawing, and mixed media on canvas from every period in Mao’s artistic career. Based on Mao’s content or style in different eras, the show is arranged into four sections: “Life / Representation,” “Power / Parents,” “Will / Scissors,” and “Mount Gui / Sketching.” The exhibition attempts to showcase Mao Xuhui’s tireless creativity over the last forty years from as many perspectives as possible.
Mao Xuhui: Life Painting, Will, and Eternity
Mao Xuhui has left a distinct personal imprint on the art world at two key moments in early Chinese avant-garde art. The first moment was from 1985 to 1989; he founded the Southwestern Art Research Group focused on new figurative painting in Kunming. He also organized several editions of the “New Figurative Painting Exhibition,” which became an important part of the ’85 New Wave, an avant-garde contemporary art movement in China. In 1986, Mao represented the “New Figurative Painting Exhibition” at the Zhuhai Conference, and in 1988, he attended the Huangshan Conference and submitted an article entitled “Artistic Issues are Human Issues.” The artistic ambitions of this period were constantly changing, and Mao had to find something meaningful in the chaos; in his paintings, he tended to depict his personal awakening and the intense vitality of southwestern China. In 1989, Mao Xuhui participated in “China/Avant-Garde” as a representative of “life painting.” His work was subsequently shown in a series of new art exhibitions held around the world related to China’s New Wave and avant-garde movements.
A Red Fallen Backrest Chair
Acrylic on canvas 180 × 250 cm 2011
Glossary Of Power: The File Cabinet
Watercolor on paper 28 × 20 cm 1993
Sketch in Guishan: Walnut Trees in Autumn, No.2
Oil on canvas 70 × 90 cm 2011
The Basic Position
Watercolor on paper 20 x 28 cm 1993
Red-billed Gulls Back to Yunnan
Acrylic on canvas 200 x 300 cm 2013
Red High-backed Chair
Oil on canvas 195 x 195 cm 2010
Guishan Series: Grace of the Red Earth—Green Branches in Spring
Oil on canvas 80 x 120 cm 1987
Sketch in Guishan: Red Earth Road
Oil on canvas 60 x 81 cm 2006
A Quarter of a Pair of Sloping Red Scissors
Oil on canvas 130 x 180 cm 2001
Parent Series： Great Yellow Bell
Oil on canvas 139 x 112 cm 1991
Blue Scissors and Residential Community
Oil on canvas 180 x 150 cm 1997
Guishan: Mother and Daughter
Oil on paper 53 x 77 cm 1987
Guishan in March
Oil on canvas 90 x 100 cm 1986
Oil on canvas 62 x 110 cm 1981
A Red Nude
Oil on board 48 x 100 cm 1984
Sketch in Guishan
Oil on board 43 x 55 cm 1982
Scissors Jungle: No Where to Hide
Acrylic on canvas 220 x 300 cm 2016
Scissors are Together with Your Loneliness
Oil on canvas 120 x 145 cm 1996
Kunming Series: Old House
Acrylic on canvas 180 x 220 cm 2012
Oil on canvas 87 x 110 cm 1988
Dai Zhuoqun, independent curator, art critic, lives and works in Beijing.
He was the founder of Contemporary Art Magazine in 2007, served as editor and art director. In 2009, Dai launched and jointly organized the "Warm Winter Plan"--Beijing safeguard art rights, which became one of the most significant art events in recent years. He cooperates with a number of art institutions, colleges and Museums of fine arts, planning exhibitions and giving lectures. Meanwhile, he frequently writes for domestic and international professional journals and publications.
The exhibitions he curated includes: "The Awakening of Things”, "Superfluous Things" series projects, "Civilization" series projects, “Brushwork and True Feeling”, ”Approach Spirits”, ”Free Prism Video Wave”,“ The Circular impact: Video Art 21”.
b.1956, Chongqing, China
He has been living in Kunming with parents since 1956, and graduated from the Yunnan Art Academy in 1982. Mao Xuhui is an iconic artist in Chinese contemporary art history. He is one of the figures in China Art Power 100 and the leader of the avant-garde community in southwest China in the 1980s. Between 1985 and 1989, he brought together a host of young artists mostly from Yunnan and Sichuan under the banner of “New Figurative” to form the Southwest Art Research Group, whose members represented and celebrated in their paintings such intense life awareness typical of the southwestern regions of China that the group came to represent a significant part of the ’85 New Wave, a vanguard movement of contemporary Chinese art. These achievements have earned him a crucial position in Chinese contemporary art history.
Mao Xuhui has widely exhibited in Euro-pan-Asian cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Bologne, Paris, and London. His artworks are included in many influential exhibitions, for example, the milestone exhibition in Chinese contemporary art history, Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998) co-organized by Asia Society New York, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and Hong Kong Museum of Art. His works have been collected by prominent domestic and international galleries and museums, publicized worldwide by news media, and published in art history books and academic journals.