Art

Pan Yuliang, Xu Beihong and the Revolution in Chinese Art

If you’re ever privileged enough to witness a revolution, hopefully a peaceful one, one of the things that you’ll see is an explosion of ideas. Everything is up for grabs, nothing is sacred. Of course, the ideas are always there bubbling away under the surface, but the thinkers are afraid of ridicule and the receivers are too wedded to the orthodoxy to give new ideas much consideration. Art is no exception. My own experience was watching China’s artists in the 1980s after Deng Xiaoping had encouraged them to “liberate their thinking”. Suddenly artists who had been churning out Socialist Realist…

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