Since the 1980s, artists working in China have experimented with various materials, transforming seemingly everyday objects into large-scale artworks. These artists have exploded fireworks into paintings, felted hair into gleaming flags, stretched pantyhose into monochromatic artworks, deconstructed old doors and windows to make sculptures, and even skillfully molded porcelain into gleaming black flames. Artists continue to explore and develop this creative mode, with some devoting decades of their practice to experiments with a single material. For the first time, The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China brings together works in which conscious material choice has become a means of the artists’ expression, representing this unique trend throughout recent history. The exhibition is a collaboration between four major American museums; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, the Seattle Art Museum and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.
“We strive to support institutions that share our artist-centered values. The small grassroots arts organizations as well as the museums that comprise our grantees provide invaluable opportunities for artists to express their unique perspectives on the pressing urgencies of the day. We hope that our grants help to amplify artists’ voices within their communities, in national discussions and debates, and across platforms in the international contemporary art world.”
Joel Wachs, President