In Two Dimensions: Paintings by Wang Jia’nan and Cai Xiaoli
“In Two Dimensions: Paintings by Wang Jia’nan and Cai Xiaoli”
May 7 - 28, 1999
Catalogue: In Two Dimensions: Paintings by Wang Jia’nan and Cai Xiaoli
This exhibition presents the works of Wang Jia’nan and Cai Xiaoli, husband and wife, who met while students at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. The formative years of each of these artists coincided with the Cultural Revolution, when budding artists were cut off from their cultural and artistic heritage and nurtured instead on iconographic and stylist formulae designed by a political leadership well-aware of the powerful impact works of art can exert on the economic-political condition of the country. When the Cultural Revolution ended, barriers to free creation that had been erected during that interim fell. However, a break from that immediate past, times of great trial and tribulation for the artist, did not mean a return to the more distant past and the comfort of tradition. The previous world had been irrevocably transformed by recent history. In their new psychological and transformed cultural environment, Wang and Cai each embarked on a creative path, quite different from each other but both can be considered exemplary representatives of their generation. Their imagery is fully and immediately accessible to Westerners as well as Chinese:Wang’s renditions of human subjects and landscapes are a highly personal look at the world, sometimes immensely humorous, sometimes jarring, while Cai enchants with a superb craftsmanship directed to the creation of floral landscapes of great lyrical beauty.