“Great Criticism”: Paintings from Modern China

September 4, 2007- August 10, 2008
Ambulatory Gallery

This selection from the AMAM permanent collection highlights Chinese artists’ responses to the Cultural Revolution. Objects on view range from paintings created specifically as propaganda to more recent works that appropriate the visual language of propaganda to criticize the Cultural Revolution’s impact on Chinese society. The exhibition’s centerpiece, Shen Jiawei’s compelling painting, Climbing over the Great Snow Mountain (1977), depicts a group of Red Army soldiers braving the elements during the Long March of 1934-37. Shown alongside are a group of preparatory drawings created by the artist that provide a rare opportunity to examine how he carefully developed the painting’s composition, figures and other details.

Works by two leading artists of the Chinese avant-garde are also included: Wang Guangyi’s thought-provoking Chanel (1994) and Huang Hancheng’s wry Boys on the Town (1997), showing a group of fashionable young men who have literally become part of current events, as Huang has transformed the central figure into a collage of newspaper clippings and advertising posters.

Organized by Jason Trimmer, AMAM Curator of Education



Huang Hancheng (Chinese, b. 1965)
Suffused with the News: Boys on the Town, 1997
Oil on canvas with newspaper collage
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio
Ruth Roush Fund for Contemporary Art
AMAM 2002.14