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Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Ashmolean − Eastern Art Online, Yousef Jameel Centre for Islamic and Asian Art

Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s

(from 15th Apr 2011 until 15th Jan 2012)

Explore woodblock prints and ink paintings from around the period of the Cultural Revolution in China.

Detail of Dancing: Highland Barley Series No. 2, China, 1961 (Museum no. EA2007.80)

Introduction

Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s was closely associated with state political movements. Following the rupture between China and the U.S.S.R. in 1960, traditional Chinese paintings, especially ink landscapes, began to serve as a new way of celebrating national achievements. The Soviet style of the 1950s remained evident in heroic figure compositions during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), in particular on woodblock prints, the favoured medium for revolutionary subjects.

In contrast to the propaganda posters produced and circulated under tight state control, paintings and prints sometimes embodied the artists’ own expression. However these were mostly limited responses, either emotional or critical, to the political climate.

September in the North (EA2007.8) September in the North (EA2007.8)
Chinese Paintings Gallery - Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s exhibition upper. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Chinese Paintings Gallery - Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s exhibition upper.   Chinese Paintings Gallery - Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s exhibition hanging scrolls. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Chinese Paintings Gallery - Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s exhibition hanging scrolls.   Chinese Paintings Gallery - Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s exhibition case. © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford Chinese Paintings Gallery - Art in China in the 1960s and 1970s exhibition case.

This complements the two-part exhibition of state graphics from the period of the Cultural Revolution in China concurrently on display in the Ashmolean’s Eastern Art Paintings and Prints Gallery.

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