A donation exhibition of Liu Xian s works is currently on display at Hall 1 since July 28 until August 5, 2010. The exhibition comprises a total of more than 200 works, most of which are the woodcuts created between the 1930s and the 1990s. The show provides an overview of the creation journey of the artist over the past decades.
Most of the exhibits are donation form his relatives, including Gorki, The portrait of Lu Xun, Let a hundred flowers blossom, along with some collection from the National Art Museum of China. It is rare that a number of donated masterpieces are the original boards. The donation is of great importance to enrich the collection of the national-level museum, complete the woodcarving series and realize the returning of the master who made a contribution to the development of the National Art Museum of China.
Liu Xian (1915- 1990), born in Henan province, studied in the Peking Art College in 1932 and learned the woodcut himself. He initiated the society of anonymous woodcut and published the woodcut collection with the help of Lu Xun. Liu Xian went to Japan for further study in 1934 and learned the woodcarving from a Japanese famous artist.
He published a total of 11 artistic collections between 1933 and 1936. After the anti-Japanese struggle, he went to Yan an for teaching and received high praise from Chairman Mao Zedong. He made a great contribution to the founding, the collection and overseas exchange of the National Art Museum of China.
He is famous for the white-black woodcut, which boasts the brave structure, the exaggerating techniques and the sharp contrast between white and black as well as the elegant lines and the unique style. Included are Repairing the cave-dwelling, The penoy, Lu Xun, The donkey and the cow. The exhibits fully reflect the artistic journey and the achievements of the artist.
Liu Xian is also an accomplished illustration artist in the field of book designs. Between the 1950s and the 1960s, he carved a large number of portraits and illustrations for books, such as Crime and punishment, White night and Midnight.
Liu Xian insisted the path of the realism and created thousands of works reflecting the Chinese society. He carried on the artistic features of the Chinese tradition and also adopted the techniques of the western woodcut, establishing his unique artistic style. The exhibition is expected to help the audience have visual appreciation as well as his spirit from the form to the content in the field of the woodcut.
The woodcut of the wood opening: it is one type of the woodcut. It refers to the woodcut on the cross-section wood with dense fiber using the knife made of solid steel bars. Such wood is suitable for carving because of its uniform fiber. Most of the woodcut works by the artists from the European countries belong to this type.