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The Chinese Reception of Picasso's Cubism and Communism

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2021, (49), pp.183-208
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : April 25, 2021
  • Accepted : May 26, 2021
  • Published : June 30, 2021

Eunyoung Cho 1 Yi zhang 2

1원광대학교
2위난사범대학

Accredited

ABSTRACT

With the rise of the Chinese New Culture Movement in the early twentieth century, the Chinese art world began to explore the diverse styles of Western modern art. The Chinese reception of Picasso and his Cubist art was part of China's various experiments with European modern artistic movements in broad contexts. Based on a close examination of contemporary artistic and cultural materials from 1917 to 1930, this paper demonstrates that at least thirty-two Chinese articles and writings introduced Picasso's Cubism, with more than sixteen of his works illustrated in Chinese periodicals and books. It also deals with the ongoing pros and cons of Picasso's avant-garde style as well as European modern art among representative artists and theorists in China of the period. The Chinese interest in Picasso reached its pinnacle after 1944, when the news of Picasso joining the Communist party in France became widespread, eventually leading even the Chinese government to utilize the artist's “peace of dove" paintings on national postal stamps between 1950-1953. Although China's response to Picasso initially developed as an ardent interest in modernist artistic ideas and styles, it later became more focused on the artist’s political ideology, evoking strong social and cultural reactions and bringing profound effects to the Chinese art world.

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