May 25, 2010

The Passage

The Passage


Ching Ho Cheng

(American, 1946–1989)

Charcoal and graphite and blue pastel

Sheet: 127 x 99.1 cm (50 x 39 in.); Framed: 138.5 x 110 cm (54 1/2 x 43 5/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Bard 1986.215


Did you know?

This drawing was given to the Cleveland Museum of Art by Stanley Bard, the manager of the Chelsea Hotel, where Ching Ho Cheng lived. Bard built an art collection by sometimes accepting works in place of rent payment.


Born to a Chinese diplomat family in Cuba, Ching Ho Cheng spent much of his career in New York City, where he was deeply involved in the city's artistic scene from the 1960s through the '80s. The style of his artworks varied widely throughout those decades, but he consistently preferred to work on paper, resulting in works such as this one. Its layered forms were inspired by the artist's practice of tearing up of his own unsuccessful drawings, leading to the realization that this process could also be used for making. He embarked on a series, which includes this drawing, as a process of renewal while grappling with the loss of friends and colleagues at the height of the AIDS crisis.

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