Blooming in the Shadows

Contemporary Chinese art has taken the art world by storm in the last decade through heralded museum exhibitions, well-read publications, and heavily attended art auctions. However, even with all this attention, few exhibitions have asked the question of how, against the background of thirty-five years of Socialist Realism, this internationally-oriented artwork suddenly appeared and why it captured the attention of the international art market. Blooming in the Shadows: Unofficial Chinese Art, 1974 –1985 at the China Institute in New York will introduce the work of three unofficial Chinese art groups who worked in this vein: the No Names, the Stars, and the Grass Society, all of which arose following the end of the Cultural Revolution and helped launch the avant-garde movement in China. These artists pursued creatively diverse paths to personal artistic freedom under the harsh political circumstances of the time. Blooming in the Shadows will examine work produced by these three significant groups of young artists in the critical decade after the end of the Cultural Revolution leading up the Communist Party’s 1985 decision to allow modern artistic practices. On view until December 11 at the China Institute – 125 East 65th Street, New York.