(Chinese, b. 1955)
Image: 51.9 x 71.6 cm (20 7/16 x 28 3/16 in.); Sheet: 73.5 x 81.6 cm (28 15/16 x 32 1/8 in.)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 2010.152
Edition: never editioned
Impression: Artist's Proof
The viewer looks down on a cloud floating over the patterned fields of a rural landscape.
Xu created Five Series of Repetitions to explore the process of printmaking. He printed images of the series in different stages, each time carving away a little bit more of the block’s surface. The first print is the darkest; the final one is the lightest with the image being entirely effaced. This print represents a stage in the process when the image was most legible. Some prints show Chinese characters, indications for his later works featuring writing and language called “landscripts”—images made with script.
As a child, Xu had access to a world of books: his mother worked in the library and his father in the history department at Peking University. Toward the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1974, Xu was sent to a rural village north of Beijing for “re-education.” The Cultural Revolution taught him the power of words and text, while the interruption of his formal schooling gave him time to practice writing and teach himself woodcut techniques.
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