Xu Jianguo

1951 Shanghai China

Introduction

Xu Jianguo, referred to stylistically as Da Diaozi ("Hue Cathcher"), was born in Shanghai in 1951. Straddling the artistic traditions of both Eastern abstract brushwork and Western colour sensibility, he melds both techniques to create works that push the boundaries of contemporary art. Xu's unique medium, the integration of rice paper with sumi ink and watercolour with canvas, acrylics and oil paints, testifies to his cross-cultural heritage. 

As a youth, Xu studied classical painting and calligraphy under the scholar Ye Zhizhao, a researcher at the Shanghai Literature and History Research Institute. Xu obtained a Bachelors of Arts from the Shanghai Academy of Theater in 1976 and moved to the United States in 1984 to pursue an M.F.A from Bard College. Over the following thirty years, he has developed his artistic career, exploring multi-media disciplines, from his studio in New York City.
 

The China Pavilion featured Xu Jianguo's hand scroll The New Vista of Shanghai for the 2010 Shanghai Expo. From 2010, a solo exhibition sponsored by the US Missions travelled to prominent museums in China, including the Beijing Capital Museum (Fall 2010), Shanghai Art Museum (Spring 2011), Guangdong Provincial Museum (Spring 2012) and National Museum of China (Autumn 2013). His works have been exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum, Smith College, Boston Museum College, and other institutions across the United States. Alisan Fine Arts has been working with Xu since 2016 and included his works at the Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 as well as Art 021 Shanghai last year.

 

BIOGRAPHY

1951        Born in Shanghai, China
1961-66   Studied fine arts at Yie Zehow’s (researcher at Institute of Culture and History) studio in Shanghai; received scholarships
1973-76   BA, Shanghai Academy of Theater, Shanghai, China
1976-84   Stage Designer at the Shanghai Opera House
1984        Masters Program in Fine Arts Bard College, USA; fellowship and full scholarship 
1984-85   Art designer at M&M designer studio, New York, USA
                Studied at the Art Students League of New York School, USA
1985        Calligraphy commissioned by IBM Magazine
1985-87   MFA, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard College, New York, USA
1987        Listed as Guest Artist of the New York Foundation of Art, USA
                Inauguration of National Building Museum, gala dinner organized together with Oscar-winning female artist Celesty Holms, Washington DC, USA
                Began extensive travel (over 2000 working days) around the world to research the origin, legacy and transformation of Eastern and Western cultures
1991        Studied arts and sites in Xian, Beijing, Sichuan, Guangzhou, China
1994        Went to Singapore and studied bronzes from the tombs of Yi, Marquis of Zeng, and Warring period 
                Curated solo exhibition for German artist Siegward Sprotte at Shanghai Art Museum and wrote the accompanying preface ‘Bada Shanren of the West’
1994-04   Did research and painted Shanghai for ink on silk handscroll painting in the Song manner(6x48m)
1994-11   Did research and painted Guangzhou for ink on silk in fan-shaped paintings in the Song manner (10 paintings with each diameter 28cm)
1995        Studied Southern Song Guan ware sites in Hangzhou, China 
                Studied Chinese history of art in Xian and Shanghai, and studied Shanghai Art Museum’s porcelain and painting collections
1996        Studied Western art history in Rome, Florence, Italy
                Studied History of painting in Paris, France
1997        Studied of Western art history in Paris, France; Zurich, Switzerland
                Studied multiple styles of Tibetan Tanka Painting and its influences in Chengdu, China 
                Studied the New Archaeological Discoveries of Palace Museum collection in Beijing, China 
1998        Studied art history in Madrid, Barcelona; Spain
1999        Studied art history in Munich and Amsterdam
2003        Travelled 11 cities in Europe to study history of art
2004        Studied German art in Berlin, Germany 
2004-08   Did research and painted Shanghai ink & Chinese colour on silk handscroll in the Song manner
2004-10   Design and supervised the largest private eastern scholar garden in New York
2007        Invited to attend art acclamation activity of “Potsdam 2010”, Germany
2010        Received the prize of honuor on art communication between China and America by the US State Department
2013        Guest Professor, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
2015        Exclusive Interview, included in the book Interview with 40 Masters of Arts & Culture by Min Jie, Xinhua News Agency, Hong Kong


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018
2014
  • Xu Jianguo: Metropolis Reimagined, A Selling Exhibition of Contemporary Ink Paintings, Sotheby’s Gallery, Hong Kong
2013-11
  • Beyond Contemporary: The 50 Years’ Artistic Vision of Xu Jianguo, Travelling exhibition sponsored by US Embassy in China, Capital Museum; National Museum of China, Beijing; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou, China
2006
  • Gallery of Ann Felton Multicultural Centre, Onondaga Community College, New York, USA
1988
  • Reece Gallery, New York, USA
1987
  • Carolyn Hill Gallery Soho, New York, USA 
1986
  • Guest professor solo exhibition and talk, College of the Ozark, Point Lookout, USA
  • B & B America, New York, USA
  • 182 Hudson Street Gallery, New York, USA
1985
  • Guest professor solo exhibition and talk, Evangel College, Springfield, USA
  • Guest professor solo exhibition and talk, Creative art Centre, University of Colorado, USA

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018
  • Art 021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair 2018, Alisan Fine Arts, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Shanghai, China
2017
  • Art 021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, Alisan Fine Arts, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Shanghai, China
2016
  • Contemporary Landscapes: From Modern Classics to the New Vanguard, Alisan Fine Arts, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
2015
  • Xu Jianguo, A New Vista of Shanghai on view, STA Phenomenon-Inspiration and Development:70th Alumni by Shanghai Theatre Academy, the Long Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Asian Pacific Network Week, Gala & Talk, sponsored by US Embassy in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Garden Hotel, China
  • Arts in Spring, sponsored by Guangzhou Cultural Affairs Bureau, Guangzhou Library, Guangzhou, China
2014
  • Integration: Joint Exhibition of Xu Jianguo and Ju Yan, EMGdotArt, Guangzhou, China
2010
  • Special exhibition, State Guest Hall, Shanghai Expo, Shanghai, China
2009
  • Hangzhou Art Fair, Hangzhou, China
2005
  • Onondaga Community College, New York, USA
  • Asian Art Group Exhibition, Reece Gallery, New York, USA
1995
  • Art Expo Hong Kong, Forum Gallery, New York, USA
1993
  • Three men show, West Harbour Gallery, New York, USA
  • New Trends Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Art Expo Miami, Miami, USA
  • Falkenstern Fine Art Exhibition, Madeira, Portugal
1992
  • Two men show, Vincent’s Obsession Gallery, Boston, USA
  • Art Export Argentina, Argentina
1991
  • Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, USA
  • Smithtown Township Arts Council, New York, USA
  • Baruch College, New York, USA
  • Reece Gallery, New York, USA
1989
  • Gallery of Lincoln Center, New York, USA
  • Elaine Benson Gallery, New York, USA
1988
  • Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
1987
  • Sarah Lawrence College; Art Gallery Bronxville, New York, USA
1986
  • Maison Alcoa House. Montreal, Canada
  • East End Arts Humanities Council, Riverhead, New York, USA
  • Islip Art Museum, Long Island, New York, USA
  • Two men show, Reece Gallery, China
  • Carolyn Hill Gallery Soho, New York, USA
  • Elaine Benson Gallery, New York, USA
1983
  • Hamunquist Gallery, New York, USA
1983-82
  • Chinese Dreams, Brooklyn Museum, New York; Boston City Hall Gallery; School of Museum of Fine Arts Boston; Smith College, Boston, USA 
1981
  • Shanghai People’s Park Gallery, Shanghai, China
1980
  • Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

SELECTED LECTURES
2015
  • The Pattern of the Visual Thinking & Integration of Eastern and Western Culture, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Guangzhou, China
2014
  • Great Harmony of Visual Thinking, EMGdotArt, Guangzhou, China
  • Art DNA Forum 2: The Creative Process and the Study of the Spirit, Beijing American Centre, US Embassy in Beijing, China
  • Art DNA Forum 1: Visual Thinking, The Creation of the Harmony, UCCA, Beijing, China 
2013
  • Lecture sponsored by the U.S Embassy, China Renmin University, Beijing, China
  • Lecture sponsored by the U.S Embassy, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China
  • Meet The Artist: Art Education Program, sponsored by the US Embassy, National Museum of China, Beijing, China
  • Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
2012
  • EMGdotArt, Guangzhou, China
  • Guangzhou Thoughts Salon, Guangzhou Museum, Guangzhou, China
  • Commercial Chamber of US Consulate General in Guangzhou, Guangzhou, China
  • Pudong Development Bank, Guangzhou branch, Guangzhou, China
  • Culture Section of US Consulate General in Guangzhou, Guangzhou, China
2011
  • Sponsored by US Consulate General in Shanghai, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Xu Jianguo Art Seminar, Shanghai Artists Associations, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2010
  • Royal Asiatic Society Shanghai, Shanghai, China
  • China Renmin University, Beijing, China
  • China Central Academy of Arts, Beijing, China
  • Symposium on future of Chinese Landscape Painting; with participation of members of Chinese Artists Association and art critics, Capital Museum, Beijing, China
2008
  • Speech at the annual symposium for the survivors in the second world war organized by American Jewish Association, USA
2005
  • Shanghai Academy of Theatre, Shanghai, China
1987
  • National Building Museum of Architecture, Washington DC, USA
  • Guest professor’s talk and demonstration, Canton County Teachers Association, New York, USA
1986
  • St. Louis Community College, St Louis, USA
1985
  • Demonstration, China Institute of America, New York, USA

SELECTED COLLECTIONS
Museum of Fine Arts Boston, USA