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Xu Bing will serve as Grossman Visiting Artist

An exhibition of works by conceptual artist Xu Bing will be on display in the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Gallery of the Williams Visual Arts Building from March 3 to April 19.

The exhibition will present a survey of his work, including those for which the artist is widely known, including text-based works that investigate language, culture, and society.

Xu Bing will be in residence at Lafayette as the Grossman Visiting Artist on March 3-4. He will interact with students in studio and art history classes and will give a public presentation at 4 p.m. Monday, March 3, in the Williams Center for the Arts, room 108. His presentation will be followed by a reception in the artist’s honor at the Grossman Gallery.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is located at 243 North Third St. For more information, contact the Grossman Gallery at x5831.

Michiko Okaya, director of Lafayette art galleries, comments on Bing’s use of mixing calligraphy letters with Chinese characters to invent his own written language. She says, “Among the issues Xu’s work asks us to consider are the limits of the written language, the shifting meanings of words, conflicts, and misunderstanding which occur when cultures meet, and the relationship between traditional and contemporary.”

Xu Bing joins a distinguished group of annual Grossman Visiting Artists at Lafayette who have represented the highest standard of American contemporary art since 1992. The Grossman Artist-in-Residence and Exhibition Series was established by Richard Grossman ’64 and his wife, Rissa, to provide opportunities for intensive interaction between students and major artists. The series also supports presentation of significant exhibitions.

“The Grossman residencies give students the opportunity to meet major international figures in art,” says Robert Mattison, Metzgar Professor of Art. “They not only get to see the artist give a public lecture, but work with the artist in a personal context: in small lecture classes, in a seminar, one-on-one, even at dinner. Students will have lots of one-on-one time with him.”

Xu Bing was born in Chongqing, China in 1955 and grew up in Beijing. In 1975, he was relocated to the countryside for two years during the Cultural Revolution. In 1977, he enrolled in the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, where he studied printmaking. He received an M.F.A. from the Central Academy in 1987. He was a leader in the Chinese New Wave of Fine Arts movement, an art movement that denounced political oppression-which came to prominence in the mid-1980s.

Already established as a printmaker and calligrapher, Xu Bing began creating installations in 1985. His first major installation, Book from the Sky, was exhibited in 1988 at the Chinese National Art Gallery in Beijing. He immigrated to the United States in 1991 and is now based out of Brooklyn.

Xu Bing received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award in 1999 and the inaugural “Artes Mundi” prize in 2004 for “Where Does the Dust Collect Itself?” an installation using dust collected from lower Manhattan following the destruction of the World Trade Center.

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