Asia Society Museum presents First U.S. Retrospective of One of China's Most Important 20th Century Artists

Revolutionary Ink: The Paintings of Wu Guanzhong

On view at Asia Society Museum April 25 through August 5, 2012

Media preview and private exhibition viewing: April 24, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.

To attend, please contact Elaine Merguerian at or 212-327-9313

This first-ever major retrospective exhibition celebrates the sixty-year career of Wu Guanzhong (1919–2010), one of China’s most significant and admired twentieth century artists. Organized in collaboration with the Shanghai Art Museum, the exhibition traces the artist’s development in the medium of ink painting from the mid-1970s through 2004. Works on view represent Wu’s radical individual approach integrating European modernism and abstract expressionism with traditional Chinese ink painting.

Wu lived in tumultuous times;  persecuted during the Cultural Revolution at a time when western art was decried, he was forced to abandon painting and he destroyed most of his works in oil. However, he persevered, continuing to paint and draw even when he was sent to the countryside for hard labor and reeducation.

“Wu Guanzhong is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century,” says Melissa Chiu, Asia Society Museum Director and Senior Vice President of Global Arts and Culture Programs. “He revitalized and reinvigorated Chinese traditional ink painting at a time when most artists were turning to western art for inspiration. We are grateful to the Shanghai Art Museum for collaborating with us on this exhibition, which celebrates his legacy as a modern master who pushes the boundaries of our understanding of how a traditional medium like ink can be made new for a new century.”

Revolutionary Ink: The Paintings of Wu Guanzhong is curated by Chiu and Lu Huan, Curator, Shanghai Art Museum and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

To read more about Wu Guanzhong and the exhibition, download the full press release.