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Warhol Foundation Grant to UB Art Galleries to Support Scholarship, International Appreciation of Chinese Visual Arts

By Cynthia Machamer

Release Date: May 20, 2005

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- A $75,000 grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. to the University at Buffalo Art Galleries will help produce a scholarly catalogue to accompany "The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art," the largest exhibition of contemporary Chinese art ever to travel beyond that country's borders.

The exhibition, which will be on view from Oct. 21 to Jan. 29, 2006, is being organized by the UB Art Galleries, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Millennium Art Museum in Beijing, China.

"We are delighted to contribute to this project," said Pamela Clapp, director of the grant program at the Warhol foundation. "We believe this catalogue will break new ground in the scholarship and international appreciation of the Chinese visual arts."

The 450-page, full-color catalogue will be bilingual. Providing a complete history of Chinese contemporary art over the past two decades, the catalogue also will serve as a textbook for university students and researchers in the field. It will include images of all the works in "The Wall" exhibition, artists' biographies and a chronology of Chinese conceptual art from 1978-2004. It also will explore various themes, from socialist iconography to essays on Chinese film and theater in the 1980s and '90s.

The UB Art Galleries, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Millennium Art Museum are producing the catalogue, which will be available for "The Wall's" July opening in Beijing. The exhibition comes to Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the UB Art Galleries in October.

"We are grateful to the Andy Warhol Foundation for this generous grant," said Sandra H. Olsen, director of the UB Art Galleries. "Its support will enable us to expand this contemporary Chinese art exhibition beyond the walls of the museum and to encourage scholarship into this period of artistic endeavor."

The principal essayist and exhibition curator is Minglu Gao, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history at UB. "The 'wall' is a universal phenomenon, a crucial parameter that determines the definitions of ideas such as 'boundary,' 'family' and 'community,' regardless of one's race, age, culture and nationality," he said.

He added, "The 'wall' is particularly significant to Chinese history and culture because it is not only a fundamental element of classic Chinese architecture, but also constitutes a spatial system that reflects the Chinese mentality." Gao is the principal documentarian of new Chinese art and author of six books on contemporary Chinese art.

The Andy Warhol Foundation, Inc. was founded in 1987 to advance the visual arts. The foundation's objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work.

Additional funding for "The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art" has been provided by the Asian Cultural Council, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, the Interdisciplinary Research and Creative Activities Fund from the UB Office of the Vice President for Research and the collaborating institutions.

For more information, visit or call Kristin E. M. Riemer, public relations and development officer at the UB Art Galleries, at 716-645-6912, ext. 1424.