PERSONAL: Male. Education: Harvard University, M.A., Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Office—609 Clemens Hall, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14260. Agent—c/o Author Mail, University of California Press, 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkley, CA 94704-1012. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Art critic, curator, and writer. State University of New York, Buffalo, assistant professor in of art history. Curator of exhibitions, including China Avant-Garde, Beijing, China, 1989; "Fragmented Memory: The Chinese Avant-Garde in Exile," Wexner Center, OH, 1993; "Inside Out: New Chinese Art," Asia Society/P.S.I: Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY, 1998–99; Chinese section of "Conceptual Art: Point of Origin 1950s–1980s," Queens Museum, Queens, New York; and "Five Continents and One City," Museum of Mexico.
Zhongguo dang dai mei shu shi, 1985–1986, Shanghai ren min chu ban she (Shanghai, China), 1991.
(With Julia F. Andrews and Zhou Yan) Fragmented Memory: The Chinese Avant-Garde in Exile, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH), 1993.
(Editor and contributor) Inside Out: New Chinese Art, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1998.
Also author of Chinese-language publications, including Chinese Avant-Garde Art and The History of Contemporary Chinese Art.
SIDELIGHTS: Through his work as an art curator, Minglu Gao has contributed to exhibition catalogs such as Fragmented Memory: The Chinese Avant-Garde in Exile and Inside Out: New Chinese Art. Based on an exhibit held at the Wexner Center at the Ohio State University, Fragmented Memory features work by Chinese avant-garde artists who fled China following the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of 1989. Inside Out: New Chinese Art is based on a 1998 exhibit of contemporary Chinese art staged in New York and San Francisco that educated viewers about the social and political commentary being made by Chinese artists around the world. The catalog provides detailed information about the eighty pieces that comprised the exhibit and features several essays, including Gao's discussion of transitional avant-garde art in mainland China. The book also includes biographical information on each featured artist; chronologies of modern mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong; and a selected bibliography.
The artwork showcased in Inside Out was created between 1984 and 1998, a time of great political, economic, and cultural change in mainland China. Writing in New York, Mark Stevens pointed out that "the principal subject for Chinese artists raised under Communism is the collapse of the metaphysical billboard—the failure of the great signs of history, whether classical, Maoist, or capitalist, to sustain the dreams they arouse." Library Journal contributor Lucia S. Chen noted that the catalogue's essays follow the two primary themes of "modernity and identity." She also called the publication "the most important contribution to the documentation and introduction of contemporary Chinese art since … China Avantgarde" in 1993. Chen added, in her review, that Inside Out "enriches the viewer's understanding of Chinese contemporary art on both visual and conceptual levels."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, January, 1999, Lucia S. Chen, review of Inside Out: New Chinese Art, p. 90.
New York, September 28, 1998, Mark Stevens, "The Great Mall," pp. 80-81.
Asia Society Web site, http://www.asiasociety.org/ (February 1, 2005).
University at Buffalo Web Site, http://www.buffalo.edu/ (February 1, 2005), "Minglu Gao."