The Best in Modern Chinese Folk Painting

China Social Culture Editing & Publishin, Editor Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group $49.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8351-2333-4
``Modern folk painting'' is a style that has emerged in China only within the last 30 years, notes Cao Zhenfeng, vice-chairman of the Chinese Folk Art Association, in the introductory essay to this revelatory volume. Vigorous, freewheeling, often vibrantly colorful, this bold, down-to-earth art is worlds apart from socialist realism. Artists observe social life, the workaday world, customs and nature with candid immediacy, leaving the distinctive stamps of their personalities on the scenes depicted. The 200 color plates display almost as many styles as there are artists: the phantasmagorically painted bulls and trees of Fang Baokui's Song of Spring , Tao Cunping's softly impressionistic yet tightly controlled Magnolia , the febrile memories and floating body parts in Zhang Yingzhou's Impression of Childhood . Some of the pictures look strikingly ``modern'' in their bright discordant colors, flat forms, surreal effects and fragmentary patterning. This delightful album spotlights an art largely unfamiliar to the West. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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