University News

William Paterson University Galleries to Present Exhibition of Contemporary Drawings from China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts

--Works are on view for the first time in the United States; Visiting artists from the Central Academy to participate in panel discussion and life drawings demonstrations in connection with exhibition

Nearly 100 contemporary drawings from the collection of China’s Central Academy of Fine Arts, the only art academy of higher learning governed by the country’s Ministry of Education, will be on view in an exhibition from October 24 through December 2, 2011 in the University Galleries located in Ben Shahn Hall on campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. An opening reception will be held on Monday, October 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the University Galleries.

The exhibition marks the first time that these drawings, created over a span of six decades from 1950 to 2009, have been shown in the United States. They also provide an opportunity to view the evolution of Chinese drawing at what is considered one of China’s most important institutions for art education.

Featured in the exhibition are figurative drawings, mostly portraits drawn from life, by 77 Chinese masters and their students, in a variety of media including charcoal, pencil, graphite, pastel and ink, mostly on paper. The exhibition also includes a number of sketch studies by Chinese masters such as Gao Chao, Wang Shikuo, and Chao Ge, that provide an opportunity to view the artistic process from idea to final work.

"Drawing is the foundation of an art education in China,” says Zhiyuan Cong, William Paterson University professor of art and director of the University’s Center for Chinese Art, which organized the exhibition in conjunction with the China Central Academy of Fine Arts. “Throughout the six decades from 1950, China has continued to maintain its artistic traditions while learning from artists in Europe, Russia, and the United States. This collection provides an excellent opportunity to view the evolution of Chinese drawing through the works of many of the country’s great masters.”

Among those featured in the exhibit is Xu Bing, who curated the exhibition. The recipient of a 1999 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, he has exhibited his works throughout the world, and is currently the vice president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Other featured artists include Chen Dan Qing, Wu Zuoren, Zhan Jianjun, Zhu Naizheng, Sun Jingbo, and Zhou Sicong.

A number of events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, beginning with an opening symposium, “The importance of Drawing in Foundation and Contemporary Art,” on Monday, October 24, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Ben Shahn Hall 146. Panelists from the Central Academy of Fine Arts include Professor Sun Jiagbo, vice president of the academic board; Professor Zhou Zhiyu, chair of the Department of Foundation, Institute of Design; and Associate Professor Wang Yuping, Painting Department; Also participating will be William Paterson University faculty Professor Alejandro Anreus, chair of the Art Department; Professor Zhiyuan Cong, head of the printmaking program; Professor Ming Fay, head of the sculpture program, and Professor Charles Magistro, head of the painting program.

In addition, a printmaking workshop will be held with the visiting artists on Wednesday, October 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the printmaking studio in Power Arts 143; followed later that day by a life drawing demonstration in Ben Shahn Hall B216.

The exhibit is one of two on view concurrently in the William Paterson University Galleries. “The Real Fake,” an exhibition featuring new works of art employing 3-D software, is on view in the South Gallery.

This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The William Paterson University Galleries are wheelchair-accessible. Large-print handouts are available. For additional information, please call the University Galleries at 973-720-2654.

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