Philip Tinari

  • Arthur Wesley Dow, August Moon, 1905, woodcut print, 5 1/3 x 7 1/2".

    “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989”

    “The Third Mind” looks to subvert the narrative of cultural influence’s one-way flow from West to East by focusing on how artists, writers, and filmmakers in the United States have consistently drawn on “Asian” (mainly Japanese, Chinese, and Indian) artistic traditions and religious practices.

    “The Third Mind” looks to subvert the narrative of cultural influence’s one-way flow from West to East by focusing on how artists, writers, and filmmakers in the United States have consistently drawn on “Asian” (mainly Japanese, Chinese, and Indian) artistic traditions and religious practices. Curator Alexandra Munroe arranges more than 200 works into seven roughly chronological sections, beginning with pieces by Mary Cassatt and John La Farge, among others, and ending with the likes of Meredith Monk and Bill Viola. The show’s title, referencing a 1965 work by William

  • Zhang Xiaogang, Comrade, 2006, oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 102 3/8".

    Zhang Xiaogang

    Back in the 1970s, even before he entered the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang Xiaogang began painting his way through newly circulating Western styles, including Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Surrealism.

    Back in the 1970s, even before he entered the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Zhang Xiaogang began painting his way through newly circulating Western styles, including Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Surrealism. Scarred by his mother’s schizophrenia, his father’s disdain, and his own alcoholism, Zhang spent the high tide of the early-’80s New Wave in a hospital bed, emerging with a series of sketches in a style that would foreground his signature “Bloodlines” series (1993–2003) of Socialist-era family portraits. Drawing extensively from the artist’s own

  •  Claire Tancons’s exhibition-as-procession, “Spring,” Gwangju, 2008. (Work pictured: Marlon Griffith, Runaway/Reaction, 2008, mixed-media performance.) From the 2008 Gwangju Biennale.

    the 2008 Gwangju Biennale, Singapore Biennale 2008, and 3rd Yokohama Triennale

    THIS PAST FALL, with the consecutive openings of six “Asian biennials,” the deliquescent 1990s and early-2000s trend toward establishing new large-scale exhibitions in increasingly far-flung locales bore fruit, such as it is. And as might have been anticipated, these shows were also attended by the repeatedly aired critiques that such efforts do little more than adapt a late-nineteenth-century model of display to newly ascendant societies; and, further, serve as highbrow smoke screens cynically deployed in the service of nationalist political regimes, neoliberal economic interests, or narrow

  • Philip Tinari

    PHILIP TINARI

    1 ”Wu Shanzhuan: Red Humor International” (Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China) As the first major solo exhibition of the most overlooked Chinese conceptualist—and especially as the first substantive retrospective of a living artist’s work organized by a state museum along curatorial and institutional imperatives—this show was a milestone. Organized by Gao Shiming, Ching Tsong-zung, and Guo Xiaoyan, it included long-term textual projects such as Things’ Rights (a witty, analytic rewriting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights); collages evoking the migratory

  • From left to right: PaceWildenstein president Marc Glimcher, translator Claire Chak, PaceWildenstein's Andrea Glimcher, Guy Wildenstein, PaceWildenstein chairman Arne Glimcher, Pace Beijing president Leng Lin, PaceWildenstein's Peter Boris, and artist Zhang Xiaogang.
    diary August 08, 2008

    A Separate Pace

    Beijing

    Wardrobe anxieties ran high on the morning Pace Beijing opened its twenty-two-thousand-square-foot space in the capital’s Factory 798 Art District. “Are you wearing high heels?” Beijing gallerinas queried one another over MSN Messenger. “Are short sleeves OK for a Beijing opening in summer?” came an SMS from a Gagosian lieutenant. “Can we bring our two-year-old?” asked a New York Sun journalist in town to cover the Games. Seemingly silly dilemmas, questions like these actually cut to the pulsating heart of this pre-Olympic moment: Were we to regard last Saturday’s event as we would a happening

  • Left: Artist Xu Zhen with Long March's Lu Jie. Right: Collector Jeanne Lawrence, dealer James Cohan, and collector Pamela Kramlich. (Photos: Philip Tinari)
    diary July 18, 2008

    Shanghai Express

    Shanghai

    In recent years, the foreign-gallery opening in China has developed into a complex ritual with its own unique social lexicon. Who can forget Galleria Continua’s 798 debut back in 2005, leaving Beijing awash in prosciutto, pecorino, and Chen Zhen installations? Or Galerie Faurschou’s dinner last November for the absent but still-living Rauschenberg, whose work opened their Beijing space, under a rented tent and catered by the Chinese capital’s lone Michelin-certified chef? Pace Beijing originally scheduled its China debutante ball for the Day of the Aligning Eights (8-8-08), to coincide with that

  • Left: Architect Zaha Hadid. Right: The Chanel Mobile Art Container. (All photos: Philip Tinari)
    diary March 18, 2008

    Shopper's Paradise

    Hong Kong

    There are many minor cities in China with populations of six or seven million, so perhaps it is natural that Hong Kong always feels like a small town. A tiny circle of storied capitalists and their socialite spawn sits at the center of a node in the global economy unlike any other. The local art scene does nothing better than organize panel discussions about its own shortcomings. Vague apparitions of the future—stalled plans for the West Kowloon Cultural District, a controversial Herzog & de Meuron design for an arts district amid a redeveloped police station and prison compound in Central—play

  • ORIGINAL COPIES: THE DAFEN OIL PAINTING VILLAGE

    AS A CITY, SHENZHEN was almost literally painted into existence. In 1979, “Deng Xiaoping drew a circle”—or so goes the cliché immortalized in an early-’80s pop song—around a fishing village abutting Hong Kong, and proclaimed a zone of free markets for a China then beginning to awaken from its socialist reverie. Nearly thirty years later, it is a site of production on a most extraordinary scale, and the locus of a unique urban condition only possible in a place where the average resident is even younger than the fledgling city itself. Its factories turn out everything from pharmaceuticals to air

  • Left: ShContemporary organizers Pierre Huber and Zhou Tiehai. Right: Shanghai Art Museum director Li Lei and Guangdong Museum of Art director Wang Huangsheng. (All photos: Philip Tinari)
    diary September 16, 2007

    Power Trip

    Shanghai

    About halfway into a night of gallery openings last week, on the eve of the ShContemporary art fair’s vernissage, a power failure throughout 50 Moganshan Road left VIPs fresh from Pudong airport and Shanghai scenesters alike to commingle in the late summer drizzle. It was one of those moments that seems to manifest an unspoken collective angst percolating just below the surface of daily goings-on. Is it possible, one implicitly wondered, that the whole shimmering Chinese art scene could go dark without warning or apology?

    Of course, the lights came right back on in the warehouses along the banks

  • “The Real Thing”

    THE INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCE of “Chinese contemporary art,” first as a sphere of cultural activity, then as a category, and most recently as a market sector, has been driven by what we might term the “China show.” The China show typically presents a sprawling assemblage of works by a large number of artists, which is taken as illustrative of larger historical conditions and contemporary social realities. Since the early 1990s, this exhibition has been through dozens of incarnations—at museums of greater and lesser heft, mediated by curators with different tastes and diverse institutional imperatives,

  • Ai Weiwei, Template, 2007, wooden doors and windows from Ming- and Qing-dynasty temples and wooden base. Installation view, Ai Weiwei’s studio, Beijing.

    A KIND OF TRUE LIVING: THE ART OF AI WEIWEI

    AI WEIWEI’S CONTRIBUTION to Documenta 12 is titled Fairytale, but in China, where Ai is as famous as a movie star, people have acerbically taken to calling it “Yellow Peril.” The original concept for the artwork was simple: Round up 1,001 Chinese people from the artist’s sprawling, blog-mediated social network, give them matching clothes and luggage, fly them en bloc to Kassel, billet them on bamboo bunks in Ai-designed temporary quarters inside an old textile factory, and set them to wandering the city for the three-month duration of the show, which opens June 16. A spokesperson at Ai’s studio

  • Chen Zhen

    In 2000, Chen Zhen became the first major contemporary Chinese artist to die, at the age of forty-five, ending prematurely a career that had taken him from his native Shanghai to the center of a lively Paris scene. His sculptures—ritual drums, candle-wax-coated chairs, human organs in glass, for example—approach themes of cultural exile through the language of Chinese medicine and spirituality. Gathered here are thirty-five works mostly from his final decade, including large-scale installations from major European collections never before shown together. The retrospective