Contemporary Artists Series
Phaidon Press | ISBN 9780714848891
Paperback – 160 pages
Part of the Contemporary Artists series.
Member’s price: $62.96
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Ai Weiwei’s work is an audacious blend of old and new, Western and Eastern, serious and irreverent. He has translated the readymade into a new artistic language, fusing neolithic pottery, fourteenth-century doors and seventeenth-century temple beams into surprising, at times shocking sculptures. He has documented his disdain for authority by giving the finger to the Tiananmen in Beijing, the Reichstag in Berlin and the White House in Washington (Study of Perspective, 1993-2005). And he has captured the mundane urban sprawl of his home city in a 150-hour video (Beijing 2003, 2003) that even dwarfs Andy Warhol's notorious eight-hour Empire.
What marks Ai as a truly twenty-first-century artist is precisely this multiplicity of roles: not just artist, designer and architect, but also curator, publisher, Web blogger and compass for an entire generation of Beijing artists. His outsize public persona is an integral part of his art. Although his outspoken views have brought him unwanted attention from the State, they have also generated excitement far beyond China's borders. His work has been increasingly featured in the world's most significant exhibitions, including Documenta 12 (2007), the 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial (2007) and the 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006), in the process providing the world with a inside view into one of the most exciting new art scenes.
Artist: Ai Weiwei