The show at the Picker Art Gallery
features 60 Chinese woodblock prints: 30 pieces from Colgates own Herman collection and 30 woodblock prints by eleven contemporary Chinese artists. It is curated by Joachim Homann and Boston-based printmaker and curator Renee Covalucci.
The 60 selected prints include several of the most recognizable woodcuts produced in 20th century China, documenting the development of the medium since the 1930s. The roster of artists features the leaders in the field, ranging from the founder of the Chinese National Woodcut Artists Association Li Hua, to Xu Bing, recently appointed vice-president of the Central Arts Academy in Beijing, and a global art star. Xu Bing will visit Colgate University on November 10, 2008 for a lecture in Golden Auditorium, Little Hall and his work will be featured in Reading Space: The Art of Xu Bing in the Clifford Gallery, January 19 March 15, 2009.
The show will make visible the ways in which the artists of the 1930s and 1940s influence contemporary practice in the choice of medium, subject matter, and modes of representation. And it will show how contemporary artists go beyond their teachers work in terms of scale, conceptual daring, and technical experimentation. A common theme that unites the generations of 20th century woodcut printers is their search for a visual language that communicates their concerns universally: to the educated and the illiterate, to city and country, and to East and West.
The Herman collection, from which 30 of the exhibited works are drawn, includes more than 200 woodcuts from the 1930s and 1940s. The collection was brought to the United States in 1948 by Theodore Herman, professor of Geography, emeritus. This group is one of only four such collections outside of China and represents the first flourishing of the modern Chinese woodcut movement during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II.