From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia
|Died||7 July 2019 (aged 85)|
|Education||Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts|
|Known for||Painting, drawing|
|Four Generations (祖孙四代)|
Chairman Mao and the Shepherd (毛主席和牧羊人)
"Yellow Earth School"
|President of the Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts|
|Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association|
1998 – ?
|President of the Yellow Earth School Research Institute|
|Vice Mayor of Yan'an|
Liu Wenxi (Chinese: 刘文西; October 1933 – 7 July 2019) was a Chinese painter, art educator, and politician. Considered by many critics as the founder of the "Yellow Earth School" of painting, he served as President of Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts and Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association. His portrait of Mao Zedong has been printed on the fifth series of the renminbi since 1999.
Early life and education
Liu was born in October 1933 in a small village in Shengzhou, Zhejiang, Republic of China. He showed artistic talent from a young age, and aspired to become an artist in elementary school when he first heard of da Vinci, whose name sounds similar to "Wenxi" in Chinese.
Liu was introduced to Chen Wangdao, the President of Shanghai's Fudan University, and painted his portrait. Impressed by his skills, Chen recommended him to study at Shanghai Yucai School, which was known for nurturing artistic talent. After studying at Yucai for three years from 1950, he entered Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now China Academy of Art) in 1953, where he was taught by Pan Tianshou and other renowned artists, especially Fang Zengxian and Zhou Changgu, founders of the Zhe style of guohua painting.
Upon graduation in 1958, Liu taught at Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, later serving as its president from 1991 to 1997. As a transplant in Shaanxi province, Liu immersed himself in the "Yellow Earth" culture of Northern Shaanxi (Shaanbei), and made about 80 trips to 26 cities and counties in the region. Many of his works were inspired by the earthy culture of Shaanbei. He was elected a Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association in 1998. In 2003, he was named one of the 100 "National Famous Teachers" of China. From 2004 until his death, he served as President of the Yellow Earth School Research Institute and President Emeritus of Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts.
Works and influence
Trained in the socialist-realist style that dominated the early PRC era in Shanghai and Hangzhou, Liu developed a personal style that was influenced by the traditional nianhua aesthetic. His works combine Western perspective projection with a paler and plainer background, and he was considered one of China's most technically competent painters of the socialist-realist style.
Many art critics consider Liu as the founder of the "Yellow Earth School" of painting, pointing to his works since the 1960s, including Four Generations (祖孙四代) and Chairman Mao and the Shepherd (毛主席和牧羊人), which were highly influential at the time. However, this is disputed by his detractors, who perceive a lack of cultural depth in his works, and criticize the stagnation or regression of his artistic skills since the 1980s and 1990s.
- Wan Ding 畹町 (7 July 2019). "86岁刘文西辞世：从绘写陕北到创作第五套人民币毛泽东画像". The Paper. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- Zhuan Ti (21 April 2013). "Brush with history". China Daily. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
- Xing Heyang 邢贺扬 (8 July 2019). "众名家评论刘文西". Xinhua. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- Roberts, Rosemary; Li, Li (2017). The Making and Remaking of China's "Red Classics": Politics, Aesthetics, and Mass Culture. Hong Kong University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-988-8390-89-2.
- "黄土画派创始人―刘文西艺术之光". People's Daily. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
- Andrews, Julia F.; Shen, Kuiyi (2012). The Art of Modern China. University of California Press. pp. 194–195. ISBN 978-0-520-23814-5.