The Schema of Modern Tragedy: CAO Yong’s Paintings from the 1980s

Opening time:25 June 2016, 16:00, Saturday
Duration: 2016.06.25 -- 2016.07.12
Location: 1st Floor, Building No.3, Today Art Museum, Beijing

Exhibition Preface

Cao Yong was an important artist in the ’85 New Wave Movement. Inspired by “The Stars Exhibition” in Beijing in 1979, Cao organized Lanzhou’s first contemporary art exhibition, entitled “New Advances,” in 1981. He also organized the first group exhibition of the ’85 New Wave Movement, entitled “Research, Discovery, Expression: A Five-Person Exhibition.” Cao Yong also represented northwestern artists at the 1986 Zhuhai Conference, the 1988 Huangshan Conference, and the 1989 exhibition “China/Avant-Garde,” at the National Art Museum of China. Cao Yong moved to the United States in 1998, and returned to Beijing in 2008.

For this exhibition, we have selected Cao Yong’s paintings from the 1980s, presenting the early works that made up his personal painting style. Through these pieces, we catch a glimpse of the historical context of Chinese contemporary art, as well as the impact that this cultural inspiration had on individuals and Chinese society. “The Schema of Modern Tragedy” comes from the title of Cao Yong’s most famous 1980s artwork, revealing the free, exploratory spirit behind Cao Yong’s values and artworks.


SHU Yang


CAO Yong