The UBS Art Collection arrives in Beijing

Source:中国美术馆 Time:2008-10-06

"Moving Horizons --The UBS Art Collection:1960s to the present day" is formally unveiled at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in Beijing on 28 September 2008 at an opening ceremony celebrated by over one hundred VIP guests and media representatives. After its recent successful exhibition held in Shanghai in June/July, The UBS Art Collection now presents a different and much broader selection of works entitled "Moving Horizons --The UBS Art Collection:1960s to the present day" in China's capital city.

It is also the first time that the National Art Museum of China, as a national art institution, will exhibit an international renowned corporate collection. This event clearly demonstrates NAMOC's great support for such an influential corporate collection.

The "Moving Horizons" exhibition embodies four decades of collecting, from the 1960s to the present day. Approximately 150 works reflect the change in collecting from local to global, from a world in which most artists lived in the country where they were born and the art market was led by New York City, to a world in which artists migrate or divide their time between continents, and the art market has multiple centers across the globe.  The Collection also reflects the change in visual arts practice from one that was prescribed by movements to one that is diverse and fluid.

"Moving Horizons ―― The UBS Art Collection: 1960s to the present day" will be exhibited from 29 September to 4 November 2008 and will include various artistic media, i.e. prints, drawings, paintings, photography and video. The UBS Art Collection itself is comprised of works from the 1950s to the present day created by artists from all over the world, from China to Mexico City, from Berlin to Mumbai.

This exhibition demonstrates to the audience the progression of contemporary art beginning with a large group of Pop Art prints and drawings by artists including Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and Edward Ruscha and then presenting a group of prints and drawings by Minimalist artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella.

The 1970s ushered in a quieter conceptual aesthetic, represented in the exhibition by Vija Celmins and, although very different, Alighiero e Boetti. This was followed by the explosion of highly expressive figurate painting in the 1980s. These paintings and drawings often contained personal metaphors to reflect the lives of their makers. Photography in the 1990s was used to record the physical world with apparent objectivity by artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Candida Höfer and Beat Streuli. By 2000 thriving art markets were firmly established across the globe. The UBS Art Collection now hopes to mirror this diversity and expand the possibilities for displaying art in its corporate environment in particular with the acquisition of video art.

The latter part of the exhibition includes large-scale photo-based installations by American artist Susan Hiller and Chinese artist Xu Zhen as well as videos by Chinese artists Qiu Anxiong and Cao Fei. Additional video works on display reflect the globality yet also similarity of this genre and include Chen Chieh-jen from Taipeii, Navin Rawanchaikul from Thailand, Adrian Paci from Albania and Oscar Muñoz from Colombia. Their work addresses political concerns pertinent to their own experiences, but relevant across the world, issues of rapid industrialization, migration, memories of painful pasts and hopes for brighter futures.

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