Yesterday I went to the 中国美术馆 (The National Fine Arts Museum) to see the 美国式美术三百千 (literally translated as "American Fine Arts Three Hundred Years") exhibition, which was organized by the Guggenheim. Seeing my country as something totally foreign was new to me, and I felt possibly the most "different" I ever felt in my life, seeing as though I was the only Western person in the entire building. There were a lot of Chinese art students furiously taking notes, and in general it was a large turnout for some random Thursday afternoon. I really enjoyed this Catlin painting of an Indian chief, which achieved this inanimate, stoic quality with what looks like folky finger painting.--->

Oh, and there was some contemporary stuff, but mostly the greatest hits. (Kara Walker, John Currin, etc.) It was strange to see bewildered, seemingly random Chinese people watching The Cremaster. The general collection was filled with obnoxious, Communisty art that looked like a sort of generic Picasso/Living room Modern art meets China or, worse yet, oil paintings of peasants. (A few of the contemporary scroll painting were interesting, especially one in particular of a fire in a forest in which the ink was REALLY just like smoke, but mostly everything was dead.)

1 comment:

Dadkle said...

I really like Catlin...folksy with a true presence about them.
Did you see some in D.C.?
We will have to check them out w/ Tracey sometime- a number are in the National Gallery (terrific) and in The National Porttrait Gallery (I think).