A Cultural Revolution

A portfolio of significant works from China's contemporary-art boom
Photo
DOMINO, 2006,
Installation at Xin Beijing Art Gallery
Liu Xiaodong (born 1963) is China’s top realist figure painter, widely celebrated for his ability to capture nuances of mood. He was associated both with the “New Generation” figurative realists, who broke away from their academic socialist-realist training, and with the “Cynical Realists,” who turned a sardonic eye on society in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Liu paints ordinary people, presenting them sympathetically and with an eye for the absurdity of everyday existence. In protest against the speculators buying up his works, Liu painted directly on the gallery walls for his 2006 “Domino” exhibition, only to whitewash them at the show’s close.
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Britta Erickson is an independent scholar and curator who focuses on contemporary Chinese art. She has taught at Stanford University and has curated major exhibitions at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, in Washington, D.C., and at Stanford's Cantor Arts Center.

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