Return to Painting

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9780060513542: Return to Painting

Presents a collection of more than one hundred of the author's paintings, created from India ink on rice paper, that span his artistic career from the 1960s to the present day.

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Review:

Praise for Soul Mountain:

'There is a sense throughout that Gao is running after things that are already vanishing. On the nature reserves, people are shooting bears and even pandas; trees are being cut down a hundred times faster than before. Stones inscribed with historical inscriptions have been dynamited to yield materials for bridges that were never built… Soul Mountain is Gao's attempt to bring back what is lost. In the end, his gift is to look beyond politics at the human condition, offering no easy explanations and refusing artificial allegiances.' Sunday Times

From the Back Cover:

Gao Xingjian’s introduction to his sumptuous collection of watercolour art is a strongly worded manifesto, a rallying cry for a return to the art of painting.

The art world needs, he claims, to rediscover the simplicty, beauty and clarity of the brushstroke. Focusing on ‘conceptual games’ and ideology he envisages bringing about the death of art, closing down the limitless possibilites of expression that painting reveals. His manifesto targets those artists whose high concept ‘art’ brings them infamy but does not produce inspirational art to be enjoyed by all.

It is a persuasive argument on its own terms but set alongside his simple but timeless and completely stunning, classic watercolours, the effect is intensified. Intricate in their detail, haunting in tone, universal in scope, Gao’s paintings alone are justification for why we need to look again at the power of a painting and reject the trends obsessing the contemporary art world.

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