Natural Order, Series IV
On View: Asian Galleries, West, 2nd floor (China)
This rare ink painting by Qiu Deshu dates from 1981, early in the artist’s career. At the top of the painting is an early example of a technique he now calls “fissuring,” comparing it to cracks in the pavement. The pattern is reminiscent of how his life was broken, during the political extremism of China’s Cultural Revolution, and then later rebuilt. On the top band of the painting, Qiu uses natural uncut stones to impress red marks on the paper, emulating traditional seals. He then tears the paper apart and scatters it, building up the sculptural layers into a low-relief collage.
This painting also has a deep significance for the institutional history of the Brooklyn Museum. In 1983, the Museum held one of the earliest exhibitions in the United States of contemporary art from China, curated by a pioneer in the field, Joan Lebold Cohen. Natural Order, Series IV was one of the major works in that exhibition. As Qiu explained when he graciously donated it, “Since the painting had been displayed at Brooklyn Museum in that exhibition in 1983, I think this donation could be seen as bringing it back home.”
Ink on paper, seal marks, and paper collage
sheet: 44 5/8 x 25 in. (113.3 x 63.5 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Qiu Deshu in honor of Joan Lebold Cohen and her 1983 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum
© Qiu Deshu
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Qiu Deshu (Chinese, born 1948). Natural Order, Series IV, 1981. Ink on paper, seal marks, and paper collage, sheet: 44 5/8 x 25 in. (113.3 x 63.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Qiu Deshu in honor of Joan Lebold Cohen and her 1983 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, 2016.14. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2016.14_overall_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2016.14_overall_PS9.jpg., 2018
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