Curtis L. Carter
Marquette University
In this article, Carter tells the weaving tale of the globalization of art and the interplay between eastern and western contemporary art. Carter sketches out the history of contemporary art in China with a keen eye towards the interplay between Chinese artists and the various western influences over time, such as the 16th century Jesuit artists, Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, and Dada to name a few. This history is marked by a ubiquitous tension as Chinese artists incorporated western innovations into their work, while also maintaining the poetic and literary foundation of Chinese art. Coupling that with the influence of the Cultural Revolution and Soviet realism on the Chinese are world, Carter discusses the tenuous boundaries upon which Chinese art has been and continues to be produced. After considering this history, Carter goes on to analyze the effect Chinese art has on the western art world--both how it shapes the western art world and how this globalization, in turn, shapes Chinese art. In navigating this boundary, Carter explains how Chinese artists find mediate appealing to a global audience while maintaining their Chinese roots. Carter concludes this essay by considering the economic success of Chinese art in the west and drawing attention to the negotiations still taking place today between local culture/global culture, tradition/innovation and authenticity/market appeal.
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