Liu Dan is one of twenty-first-century China's leading artists. Born in 1953 in one of China's ancient capitals, Nanjing, he received his school education from the then recently-established People's Republic of China. His academic training was based on Western methods, while at home his grandfather taught him the traditional art of calligraphy. In the early 1980s he moved to America, returning to Beijing in 2005. As a result, he has lived his whole life passing between the discordant worlds of East and West. His familiarity with both sides of the Pacific filter into his art, although they are not necessarily emphasised. For example, the exhibition featured in this book focusses on Dan's response to the Italian Renaissance. It is particularly fitting that Dan should choose the Ashmolean to host his works. The Ashmolean houses one of the world's finest collections of Old Master drawings, and a selection of Italian metalpoint drawings from the collection is included in his exhibition.
Liu Dan is also an international artist whose work has been exhibited across China, America and Europe. The museums and galleries that have displayed his work are not limited to those with a history of showing Chinese or Asian art, but also include those that specialise in contemporary art. In the thriving public and private global markets for contemporary Chinese art there are few artists, and still fewer painters, who are active so successfully across so many contexts. Liu Dan is a painter whose equal facility with classical and modern China sets him apart.
Contents: Director's Foreword; Introduction; Nanjing; Artistic Lineage; Education and Early Career; Rocks, Rock Paintings and the Literati Tradition; Liu Dan and the Masters 1: Ni Zan (1301-1374); Materials and Techniques; Liu Dan and the Masters 2: Raphael (1483-1520); Rocks and Landscapes; Catalogue; Notes; Chronology; Further Reading; Acknowledgements.