Thursday, April 30, 2009


This past week, I went to several small galleries that were enclosed in a small area on Huaihai Road (forgot exactly what the street was), but I'll get to those on a later post.  For this post, I wanted to talk about the James Cohan Gallery.  Based off of its neighborhood, I would say that I liked the Cohan Gallery more than any of the previous galleries that we have  visited--the location was quaint and hidden, almost to a point where I felt that just getting to the artwork was an experience in and of itself.  Also, the surrounding environment felt authentic, lived-in, and thriving; it definitely did not feel like the manufactured (and sometimes industrial) spaces of gallery areas.

I'll candidly admit that my main impetus for visiting the James Cohan Gallery was because I was already a fan of the three non-Chinese artists (especially Anselm Kiefer), but being in the gallery itself and seeing all the works in one space made the bridge between the art produced by Western and Eastern artists a realistic and energetic reality.  There was no way of pinpointing the perpetual question that I have asked of contemporary Chinese artists and their works: "What makes this 'Chinese' art", because being in the Gallery made me realize that Xu Zhen's works (and in theory, any of the works that we have seen thus far from Chinese artists in class) belong in the Gallery and unite together wonderfully with the (Western) contemporary artists whom many of  us are familiar with.

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