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New Book: ShanghART Archive Opening and Translations in Modern and Contemporary Sculptural Theory Launch
Event ShanghART Library, Shanghai
Date: 12.14, 2016

ShanghART and the Sui Jian Guo Art Foundation are very pleased to announce a collaborative celebration.

On December 14th, 2016, the ShanghART archive opens its doors to the public for the very first time. Housed within the new ShanghART Gallery complex at the West Bund, the archive functions as a platform for the gallery’s new public & educational outreach programs. To coincide with the opening of the archive, the Sui Jian Guo Art Foundation launched the first two volumes in the series “Translations in Modern and Contemporary Sculptural Theory”

ShanghART Archive
For the last 20 years ShanghART has been a pioneering force in the world of contemporary art in Shanghai. During this time the gallery has accumulated a vast archive of materials related to the development of the gallery’s artists, the Shanghai art scene, and the larger networks of contemporary art in China and in the world.

This unique archive is available to the public for the first time at ShanghART’s recently opened gallery space in the West Bund cultural corridor. Functioning as a library, a bookstore, and research centre, the ShanghART Archive makes available a vast quantity of documentary evidence from an explosive period in the development of Chinese contemporary culture.

The ShanghART archive is housed in state of the art facilities, beautifully designed to support communication between researchers, scholars, writers, art lovers, media and the general public. Regularly scheduled events, book launches, open forums and panel discussions form the basis for this newly established information platform at the center of Shanghai’s newest cultural destination.

The Language of Sculpture by William Tucker
Passages in Modern Sculpture by Rosalind Krauss.

There is a persistent argument shared among Chinese art theorists and critics which suggests that sculpture in China has no history. This situation is due in part to the scarcity of literature on the subject and results in a lack of sufficient discourse to support the development of theory and criticism on sculpture in China.

In an effort to ameliorate this situation, the Sui Jian Guo Art Foundation in Beijing, the Sculpture Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the China National Photographic Art Publishing House announces the publication of an on-going series of translations on the subject of sculpture: Translations in Modern and Contemporary Sculptural Theory.

The Foundation plans to publish two to three titles every year, translated and edited by art professionals and practicing sculptors. An editorial board consisting of international professionals and leading figures in the field is responsible for the selection of significant texts from the past 100 years.

The Language of Sculpture and Passages in Modern Sculpture are considered milestones in the history of modern art criticism. Sui Jian Guo, renowned sculptor and co-editor of the series remarks, “Both books were written in 1970s, and provide a clear overview of sculptural history from Rodin to Brancusi and the minimalists... British sculptor William
Tucker developed his argument from a European perspective; Krauss speaks from an American point of view. Reading the two books in comparison can provide Chinese readers with great exposure to a significant moment in the history of Western theory.”

Written from the perspective of a sculptor and practitioner, William Tucker’s The Language of Sculpture, discusses Rodin alongside six case studies of European artists whose work, while progressing along diverging paths, shows clear evidence of Rodin’s influence. This publication is translated by young sculptors Xu Sheng and Zhang Yi, and includes Tucker's original 1974 book and several essays written in the 1980s. As supplementary reading, this volume also collects a number of important interviews and articles on Tucker’s own practice.

Written in the 1970s, Passages in Modern Sculpture is American art critic Rosalind Krauss’ first major work, and the one that establishes her reputation. The translation is a  collaboration between curator Yan Wu and artist James Carl. From a standpoint of cultural sustainability, Passages is among the most enduring texts of 20th Century American art criticism. It has been in print continuously for more than 40 years. From a historical perspective, it is one of the first books to fully incorporate the then novel ideas of “French Theory” into an assessment of modern sculpture. Krauss brings aspects of structuralism, phenomenology, and psychoanalysis to bear on modern sculpture.

Artist and co-editor James Carl, reflects, “Among our hopes in translating these books is that they can be useful to a broad Chinese audience. Collaborating with ShanghART in a public outreach/educational event is a fantastic opportunity to attract Shanghai’s most important artists, educators and students to these books and to this space.”

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