Exhibition | Hsiao Chin's 85th Birthday Celebratory Year, 2020

30th January 2020 marked the 85th birthday of renowned abstract artist Hsiao Chin.

A leading figure in Post-War European and Chinese Art, Hsiao Chin spent much of his life in Europe and is celebrated as the only Chinese artist to establish a modern European art movement, the influential Punto International Art Movement. He has gained international recognition for his unique paintings, which fuse motifs and techniques from the East and West to create a language of spiritual painting for a commodified world. He was a friend to leading artists such as Lucio Fontana and Antoni Tápies and his work can be found in major collections around the world, ranging from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to M+ in Hong Kong.


To celebrate the artist’s milestone year a major retrospective entitled In my beginning is my end: the art of Hsiao Chin will open at the Mark Rothko Art Centre in Latvia, running from 31st July until 23rd October 2020. This significant exhibition will present Hsiao Chin alongside the permanent collection of Mark Rothko paintings, exploring for the first time how the two artists’ ideas and practices converged throughout the 1960s, both working to forge a language of spiritual abstraction. The Mark Rothko Art Centre is the only place outside North America where Rothko’s paintings are on permanent display and are exhibited in the historic arsenal building, located in the artist’s hometown, Daugavpils.


In my beginning is my end: the art of Hsiao Chin will showcase Hsiao Chin’s six-decade oeuvre, featuring over 30 artworks from 1959 onwards. Highlights will include Hsiao Chin’s vibrant large-scale works Universer Vibration (1965) and La Vibrazione del Sole (1965), examples of the artist’s hard-edged paintings created during his time in the US and Blue Introspection (2007-2018), a unique abstract, glass mosaic.


In my beginning is my end: the art of Hsiao Chin is curated by Philip Dodd, writer, broadcaster and former Director of London’s ICA. It will be the latest programme of “Distinguished international abstract artist series” presented by Mark Rothko Art Centre, which has previously included Gillian Ayres and Terry Frost. A catalogue of the exhibition will be available, featuring an introductory essay by art historian and critic Richard Cork.

Philip Dodd, Curator said ‘A Chinese artist at the heart of the 60s European avant-garde: Hsiao Chin’s career and his wildly inventive paintings challenge most categories. His peers may appear to be the Italian Lucio Fontana and the American Kenneth Noland – but in his search for a language of painting that can incarnate spiritual experiences, the only comparable painter of the time is Mark Rothko – which makes holding Hsiao Chin’s retrospective in Mark Rothko’s hometown museum so compelling. As an interest in spirituality and art surfaces again, Hsiao Chin’s practice feels exemplary and his mix of European and Asian art profoundly timely.’


This is the first exhibition in a year-long international programme celebrating Hsiao Chin in his 85th year. More details of which will be announced later this year.

30 January 2020
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