Painters and Politics in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1979

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Julia Andrews's extraordinary study of art, artists, and artistic policy during the first three decades of the People's Republic of China makes a major contribution to our understanding of modern China. From 1949 to 1979 the Chinese government controlled the lives and work of the country's artists--these were also years of extreme isolation from international artistic dialogue. During this period the Chinese Communist Party succeeded in eradicating most of the artistic styles and techniques it found politically repugnant. By 1979, traditional landscape painting had been replaced by a new style and subject that was strikingly different from both contemporary Western art and that of other Chinese areas such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Through vivid firsthand accounts, Andrews recreates the careers of many individual artists who were forced to submit to a vacillating policy regarding style, technique, medium, and genre. She discusses the cultural controls that the government used, the ways in which artists responded, and the works of art that emerged as a result. She particularly emphasizes the influence of the Soviet Union on Chinese art and the problems it created for the practice of traditional painting.
This book opens the way to new, stimulating comparisons of Western and Eastern cultures and will be welcomed by art historians, political scientists, and scholars of Asia. Julia Andrews's extraordinary study of art, artists, and artistic policy during the first three decades of the People's Republic of China makes a major contribution to our understanding of modern China. From 1949 to 1979 the Chinese government controlled the lives and work of the country's artists--these were also years of extreme isolation from international artistic dialogue. During this period the Chinese Communist Party succeeded in eradicating most of the artistic styles and techniques it found politically repugnant. By 1979, traditional landscape painting had been replaced by a new style and subject that was strikingly different from both contemporary Western art and that of other Chinese areas such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Through vivid firsthand accounts, Andrews recreates the careers of many individual artists who were forced to submit to a vacillating policy regarding style, technique, medium, and genre. She discusses the cultural controls that the government used, the ways in which artists responded, and the works of art that emerged as a result. She particularly emphasizes the influence of the Soviet Union on Chinese art and the problems it created for the practice of traditional painting.
This book opens the way to new, stimulating comparisons of Western and Eastern cultures and will be welcomed by art historians, political scientists, and scholars of Asia.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Art of the Republican Period II
34
From Popularization to Specialization
58
The Politicization of Guohua
177
The Cultural Revolution
314
The Transition to Artistic Democracy 19761979
377
Appendixes
407
National Art Administrators 1979
413
Notes
419
List of Chinese Names and Terms
475
Selected Bibliography
497
List of Illustrations
521
Index
531
Copyright

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About the author (1994)

Julia F. Andrews is Assistant Professor of Art History, Ohio State University.

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