Chapter

Abstraction and modern Chinese art

David Clarke

in Chinese Art and Its Encounter with the World

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9789888083060
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9789882209794 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5790/hongkong/9789888083060.003.0005
Abstraction and modern Chinese art

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Linear stories of modern art's development have characteristically been formalistic ones, and although such narratives have not always treated abstraction as essential to artistic progress, they have generally given art that is abstract a central role to play. In particular, abstract art proved crucial to narratives that construct postwar American modernism as the inheritor of earlier twentieth-century European modernism, and which serve to ratify American artistic hegemony. This chapter proposes to take one small step towards widening the focus by examining abstraction from the perspective of Chinese art. To take such a deliberately oblique perspective on abstract art's history, it hopes to lay bare some of the cultural closures that are often found in discussions of artistic modernity, and offers a more globalized perspective than is frequently the case.

Keywords: modern art; abstract art; American modernism; European modernism; Chinese art

Chapter.  9623 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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