CSU’s Dual Art Exhibits Highlight Cultural Differences & Surprising Similarities

"Acupuncture A78" by Sun Ping

By Crystal Campbell

What do an acupuncture sculpture and a Renaissance painting have in common? More than you would think.
The East/West Visually Speaking exhibit and the Sure of Hand: Drawings from the Renaissance to the 19th Century, both traveling exhibits, are currently being showcased at Colorado State University’s Art Museum located at the University Center for the Arts (UCA).
According to Keith Jentzsch, the Program and Exhibition Coordinator, “There are a lot of relationships between the contemporary Chinese work and the Western or European take on drawing. The contemporary Chinese artists are borrowing a lot from Western European culture in terms of pictorial relationships and iconic figures in European art like Michelangelo, but they’re giving a pop twist to that. They’re reinterpreting their culture through a Western or European lens.”
Though the exhibit might at first glance appear very abstract and somewhat frightening, it is very conceptually based. Look a bit closer and you will begin to notice strong undertones of social and political issues.
Jentzsch went on to say, “It’s a new way of using traditional or academic applications in art.” The merging of Eastern and Western cultures define the East/West Visually Speaking exhibit. Ten Chinese artists were born or came of age during a Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). This exhibit displays the significant changes of this period through its parody and contrary adornment of the Western world.
In parallel to the creative interpretation of the East/West exhibit, the University’s Art Museum is showing Sure of Hand: Drawings from the Renaissance to the 19th Century. This show brings to light drawings of Europe from the 16th to 19th centuries. Visitors will find superbly detailed sketches of everything ranging from historical figures and events to mythological happenings and biblical stories. The exhibit showcases numerous methods and utensils to create the finished product. This Renaissance exhibit features drawings by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Agostino Carracci, Baron Antoine Jean Gros, and many others.
The differing showcases provide a wonderful complementary effect – all found in one gallery.
Jentzsch concluded by saying, “In my personal opinion, we are doing some of the best exhibitions in Northern Colorado.”
Sure of Hand: Drawings from the Renaissance to the 19th Century runs until June 10. The East/West Visually Speaking exhibit will be on display until April 9. Both shows are at the University Center for the Arts (UCA), located at 1400 Remington Street.

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