Press Release

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World

  • May 11 to September 23, 2018
  • Curators: Alexandra Munroe, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; PhilipTinari, UCCA, Beijing; Hou Hanru, MAXXI, Rome

The exhibition presents artistic experimentation in a context framed by the spread of globalization and the rise of China as a world power. Accordingly how Chinese contemporary artists play a key role in the process of the making of a new “global art scene”.

Across six thematic and chronological sections, the show encompasses a variety of artistic practices, such as performance, painting, photography, installation and video art, and invites us to consider our own recent history through the lens of the work of these significant Chinese contemporary artists.

Centered on the conceptualist practices of two generations of artists, this exhibition examines how Chinese artists have been both critical observers and agents of China’s emergence as a global presence, and places their experiments in a global art-historical context.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World, the largest exhibition held to date on Chinese contemporary art during the most transformative period in the country’s recent history, from 1989, the year of the Tiananmen protests, to 2008, when the Olympic Games were held in Beijing. Organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the exhibition provides a fresh interpretive survey of Chinese experimental art in a context framed by the end of the Cold War, the spread of globalization, and the rise of China as a world power.

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