Ai Weiwei: According to What?

Ai Weiwei: According to What?

by Kerry Brougher
     
 

A leading figure among Chinese artists of his generation, Ai Weiwei creates art that poses fundamental questions about the ways in which art and culture interrelate with society and how society interrelates with individual existence. As a result of his internationally acclaimed work and his direct engagement with Chinese policies and politics, Ai has been thrust

Overview

A leading figure among Chinese artists of his generation, Ai Weiwei creates art that poses fundamental questions about the ways in which art and culture interrelate with society and how society interrelates with individual existence. As a result of his internationally acclaimed work and his direct engagement with Chinese policies and politics, Ai has been thrust into the global spotlight. Featuring his most significant works since 2000, this catalog offers insight into the artist's use of simple forms and artistic methods reminiscent of Conceptual and Minimal art, his preoccupation with the traditional design of furniture and other daily objects, and his iconoclastic attitudes toward traditional values and political authority. The book includes works in sculpture, photography, video, and site-specific architectural installations, making it an invaluable resource on Ai's enormously diverse oeuvre.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This superb volume of commentary and colorplates presents an enlightening and moving overview of Ai's diverse, strongly conceptual, and socially conscious body of work." —Booklist

"[A] fine introduction to [Ai's] intelligent, humane body of work. …This catalog is an excellent first step toward exploring all that Ai Weiwei has accomplished so far." —Library Journal

"Ranging from photography and video to sculpture and architecture, it's a primer on the recent output of one of the world's most important artists." - Art Info

"This very important publication is a must read." —Choice

Library Journal
This catalog, published in conjunction with the first U.S. retrospective of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, is a fine introduction to his intelligent, humane body of work. It’s excellent, too, for those who would like to understand better the methods underpinning conceptual art, the approach that Ai Weiwei pursues. Edited by Bougher (chief curator, Hirschhorn Museum), the attractive monograph is filled with color photographs, images that will help readers appreciate the artist’s choice of objects and materials (fragments of demolished homes or temples; a popular brand of bicycle; schoolchildren’s backpacks). Selected for the way they evoke the complex interplay of politics, culture, history, and individual and collective experience, these works reflect the continuity but also conflict between China’s past and present. Weiwei has been called (and is probably best known as) a dissident for his outspoken criticism of the Chinese government, but his work—in it is exploration of memory, politics, and artistic expression—is far more subtle than what is typically considered political art.

Verdict This catalog is an excellent first step toward exploring all that Ai Weiwei has accomplished so far. Two essays, an author interview, and a selected bibliography add informative context and commentary. [See the review of a new DVD program on the artist, LJ 3/1/13.—Ed.]—Michael Dashkin, New York

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9783791352404
Publisher:
Prestel Publishing
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)

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