The Denver Art Museum (DAM) today announces that it will kick off Eyes On, a focused multi-year contemporary art series, with the work of California-based Chinese American visual artist Xiaoze Xie in December 2017. Sponsored by Vicki and Kent Logan, Eyes On will feature about four emerging contemporary artists each year through 2020 in the Logan Gallery and Fuse Box on level 4 of the Hamilton Building. Organized by the DAM and Rebecca Hart, Vicki and Kent Logan Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the DAM, the first rotation, Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie, will present six large-scale oil paintings, a selection of photographs and books and a video installation in Fuse Box. The show will be on view Dec. 3, 2017 to July 8, 2018.
Xiaoze Xie, Through Fire (Books that Survived the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance at Tsinghua University, No.1), 2017. Oil paint on linen; 48 x 74 in. Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Art. © Xiaoze Xie.
“We’re proud to present new artists and ideas to our visitors through this focused contemporary art Eyes On series,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director at the DAM. “The ideas presented in each installation will challenge our visitors to think about current-day issues, struggles and topics affecting everyday lives, and I also hope the artists profiled in this series fuel new knowledge and perspective about the world around us.”
Born in Guangdong at the beginning of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966, Xie's artistic practice is deeply affected by the conflict between secretly preserving ancient traditions and modern Chinese governmental regulations about books and knowledge. His most recent project traces the practice of banning books in China and explores the country’s history of censorship, social memory and political discourse. Xie's paintings often prominently feature newspaper pages and books archived in museums and national and university libraries. His expansive study of books is possible because he immigrated to the United States in 1992 and has since become a U.S. citizen. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, San Jose Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, Boise Art Museum, Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College and the Arizona State University Art Museum.
“The ultimate goal of the Eyes On series is to introduce the Denver community to a range of new practices they may not already be familiar with,” said Hart. “In the case of Xiaoze Xie, he addresses the preservation of cultural tradition and the circulation of information in libraries. His still-life paintings of books and installations of banned books are especially poignant at a time when the world is shifting from paper-based to digital means of storing information.”
The Eyes On artists programmed for the Logan Gallery and Fuse Box will have a thematic relationship to one another; in some instances, a single artist who works both in video and more traditional media will be featured in both spaces. The second Eyes On rotation, opening in late July 2018, will feature the work of American Indian artist Julie Buffalohead in the Logan Gallery.
Curated by John Lukavic, curator of Native arts at the DAM, and Denene De Quintal, Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow in American Indian Art at the DAM, Eyes On: Julie Buffalohead will showcase new work by the Minnesota-based American Indian artist, who is a citizen of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. Buffalohead uses metaphors and narrative in her artwork to describe an American Indian cultural experience and analyze the commercialization of American Indian cultures. Buffalohead’s unique artistic style often includes animals as the subjects, and her eclectic palette and whimsical subjects evoke a childlike innocence. She works in a variety of mediums, including painting, printmaking, drawing, illustration, bookmaking and sculpture. Buffalohead’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, St. John’s University in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and the Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.
Along with the Eyes On series, DAM Contemporaries, the DAM’s modern and contemporary art department support group, is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Logan Lecture series with four artists who share global perspectives in their interdisciplinary practices. Xie’s lecture at the museum on Nov. 29 will be the final program of the 2017 year.
An Eyes On publication profiling the series and each artist will be available in the gallery. Additional artists and installation details will be announced at a later date. Eyes On will be on view on level 4 of the Hamilton Building in the Logan Gallery and Fuse Box through 2020, and is included in general admission and free for members and youth 18 and under. For more information and updates about the Eyes On series, please visit www.denverartmuseum.org.
Eyes On: Xiaoze Xie is organized by the Denver Art Museum. It is presented with the generous support of Vicki and Kent Logan, the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign and the citizens who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine, CBS4, Comcast Spotlight and The Denver Post.
The Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Denver metro citizens support Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.