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‘Avant-garde’ Art Groups in China, 1979–1989
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ISBN 9781841507156
Paperback 194 pages
Published April 2013
Imprint: Intellect
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Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

This book gives a critical account of four of the most significant ‘avant-garde’ art groups active within the People’s Republic of China between 1979 and 1989. At its core is a series of extended conversations with members of the groups in question that provide close personalized insights into the conditions of artistic production and reception within the PRC during the early years of post-Maoist opening and reform. The conversations are supported by an introductory essay on the development of modern, socialist-realist and contemporary art in China since the early twentieth century as well as critical readings of the activities and intellectual positioning of each of the groups discussed. The text of the book, which draws on close analysis of primary sources of evidence, is illustrated with full-colour photographs of the artists and artworks under discussion.

The conversations are supported by an extended introduction and other comprehensive notes that give a detailed overview of the historical circumstances under which the groups and associations developed.

To read the full review in The China Journal click here to download the pdf.

Chapter titles
China’s Post-Maoist ‘Avant-garde’ in Context: Modern and Contemporary Art in China, 1911–2011
The Stars􀌣The Northern Art Group􀌣The Pond Association Xiamen Dada
The Stars (Xingxing)
Conversations with Members of the Stars
– Yan Li – Qu Leilei
The Northern Art Group (Beifang yishu qunti)
Conversations with Members of the Northern Art Group
– Wang Guangyi – Shu Qun – Ka Sang
The Pond Association (Chi she)
Conversations with Members of the Pond Association
– Zhang Peili – Wang Qiang – Song Ling
Xiamen Dada (Xiamen Dada)
A Conversation with Members of Xiamen Dada
– Huang Yongping, Yu Xiaogang, Lin Jiahua and Jiao Yaoming
'The extreme precision of the questions and the research for the details – aiming to avoid any ambiguity and to clarify all the unclear points of the story – make the essay an advisable read first of all for the experts and students, then for the contemporary art enthusiasts. ' – Gabriele Girolamini, Drome Magazine

'Paul Gladstone's book fills gaps in our knowledge of the contemporary Chinese art scene and provides an inspiring and mind-opening narrative' – The China Quarterly

'[an] original…approach. […] Gladston has performed a signal function in making a good deal of... information available now, and indicating many paths for future researchers to follow. ' – John Clark, China Journal

'Paul Gladston provides a careful summary of a good deal of the empirical research on post-Maoist “avant-garde” art ... As an introductory analysis for many students of art history or modern Chinese culture, this book will be a good primer' – The China Journal, John Clark

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