CAC exhibit features Chinese artist
Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 07:01
Many children learn to put ink on paper at a young age, but only a technically advanced artist could produce the work on display in the Paul Mesaros Gallery at the Creative Arts Center by ink and paper artist Zhang Youxian.
The exhibit, entitled "Youxian Zhang: Essence of Ink," features a variety of ink paintings on paper that represent different points throughout Youxian’s life.
The artist’s approach to the human figure, landscape and calligraphy is displayed in the gallery.
"From the very humble materials of ink and water and a brush and paper, the artist is able create an unlimited variety of tone and value, as well as an infinite range of lines," said exhibit curator Robert Bridges.
One of China’s most famous painters, Youxian specializes in figure and landscape painting.
Youxian’s approach to the human figure is featured in a series of five paintings. One work, "Untitled Nude," shows a woman, seemingly alone and lounging on a bed.
With curvy, short lines, the nude female figure is displayed with subtle gaps in the lines, a technique which forces the viewer to connect the figure on their own.
The series shows a transition from somber to energetic and erotic.
Landscape art is featured in the many vistas in the exhibit. Although it features the use of only black ink, the paintings of Niushou Mountain show great depth and shadow with short lines.
"Old Man and the Mountain," which is displayed in the entrance of the gallery, features a subtle but striking use of color compared to the black calligraphy and dark lines of the other paintings.
Within the exhibit, there are also poems by Lu Kai written in calligraphy by Youxian.
Youxian is a professor, supervisor for M.S. graduate students and director of the Fine Art College of Nanjing Arts Institute in China and is known as the "Master of Er Oian Chinese Painting Studio."
Youxian has had solo exhibitions at Nanjing Normal University, Shanghai Arts Museum, Jiangsu Arts Museum and Xiamen Arts Institute.
He has been a visiting professor at Xiamen Arts Institute and at China Central Academy of Fine Arts and has also exhibited his works in Germany.
Additionally, Youxian is the author of numerous books about painting.
At the Fine Art College of Nanjing Arts Institute, where Youxian teaches, the WVU School of Art & Design has a summer painting program conducted by WVU painting professor Naijun Zhang, graduate of the institute.
"The program provides an opportunity for students to study landscape painting in Chinese ink style and Nanjing and Tangka style with extensive traveling to major historical and artistic sites throughout China," Bridges said.
Youxian’s exhibit can be viewed at the Creative Arts Center’s Paul Mesaros gallery noon-9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. It is free and open to the public.