London Lantern

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Modern Chinese Art - The Khoan and Michael Sullivan Collection

06/01/2008, By

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This is the first showing in London of a unique collection of Chinese art formed by the great scholar and connoisseur of Chinese painting in the West, Michael Sullivan, and his wife Khoan. The Sullivans' collection includes art acquired over a period of sixty-five years, beginning with the work of artists who were refugees in the province of Sichuan in Western China in the 1940s to contemporary artists. Most of the works were gifts from artists, whom the Sullivans came to know over the years, so that this is a very personal collection, witness to friendships going back over many decades.

Their collection developed over the course of more than half a century to include paintings, prints, woodcuts and drawings by the principal artists of late twentieth century China, as well as works by a new generation.

The first of these two exhibitions, Beginnings, focuses on works which are more traditional, often showing some connection with the orthodox guohua or Chinese national style. The pieces range from the 1940s through to the late 20th century.

The second exhibition, A New Generation, shows works produced after the Beijing Spring of 1979-81 which released a wave of creative energy marking the art of the 1980s and 1990s.

The exhibitions will be curated by Professor Sullivan, world authority on twentieth century Chinese painting. His book Chinese Art in the Twentieth Century (1959) was the first ever on the subject, while Art and Artists of Twentieth Century China (1996) provides the most complete survey and includes biographies of the artists.

“The collection bears witness to the generosity of our artist friends, who felt that their work, in our hands, would be appreciated and understood. ”Michael Sullivan “We began to acquire works of a more advanced kind – but nothing freakish or of mere transient interest – works that we hope a hundred, two hundred, years from now will still be as moving and as satisfying as they are to us today.” Michael Sullivan.

Asia House is the premier pan Asian organisation in Britain, promoting a greater understanding of the rich and varied Asian cultures and economies. We run a lively programme of approximately 150 events annually, covering Asian economics, politics, visual and performing arts, literature, food, film and fashion.

Situated in a beautiful 18th century listed building Asia House has a museum standard exhibition gallery and extensive facilities including fine rooms for lectures, performances and a wide range of business and cultural events.

Beginnings:
1st February to 15th March

A New Generation:
1st April to 24th May

Asia House
63 New Cavendish Street
London
W1G 7LP
+44 (0)20 7307 5454
Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm, closed Sunday
Admittance £2.50, free to Asia House members and under 18s

Image 1 - Listening to the Sounds of the Autumn Mountains, Wang Jia’nan
Image 2 - Landscapes of the Four Seasons, Fu Baoshi, 1950
Image 3 - Democracy leading the People, Yue Mingjun, 2005

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