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SAVE AS: Contemporary Chinese Art featuring, Cao Xiaodong and Li Xiaofeng

Cao Xiaodong, Swimsuit, oil on canvas, 70 ¾ x 94 ½ inches (180 x 240 cm), 2008, courtesy of ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, Coral Gables (Miami), Florida

November 2008 - February 2009

ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries in downtown Coral Gables continues its 35-year tradition of introducing important artists and art movements to this area with “SAVE AS: Contemporary Chinese Art Born of Ancient Traditions,” the first major exhibition of paintings in this country by Cao Xiaodong and Li Xiaofeng.

Although Xiaodong’s computerized screen-pattern technique and compositions clearly categorize him as a contemporary artist, his style is compared by Chinese critics to that of their ancient ink and watercolor landscapes because of his use of traditional tones and his paintings’ nostalgic sense of preserving the past.

The second artist to be featured is Li Xiaofeng, a 43-year-old Beijing artist. After being introduced by the gallery at the Bridge Art Fair in Wynwood, Xiaofeng’s two full-length dresses and a man’s jacket, shirt and necktie made of broken pieces of ancient Chinese porcelain will be added to the exhibition in Coral Gables. Two receptions will be given for the expanded “SAVE AS” exhibition from 7-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 2nd, and again on Friday, Feb. 6th.

Being exhibited outside China for the first time, the sculptural “garments” consist of shards of Ming, Qing, Yuan and Song dynasty porcelain that the artist has fitted together so perfectly the finished dresses and jacket appear to have been designed for their materials. Mounted onto a leather undergarment, the works open on the sides or back, just like an actual dress or jacket, and can be modeled as if they were of fabric. 

Sharing ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries’ Chinese booth at the Bridge Art Fair in Wynwood from Dec. 2 - 7 will be artists introduced to this region by the gallery in two major exhibitions last year, including painters Li Bo, Kang Can, Liang Haopeng, Yang Na, and Liao Zhenwu, along with newcomer Mu Lei and stainless-steel sculptor Liao Yibai. Across the aisle from the gallery’s Chinese booth, the gallery will present a selection of works by mid-career artists from the Americas, which includes Mateo Arguelles Pitt, Sergio Garval, Alfredo Arcia, Benjamin Cañas, Matt Carone, Humberto Castro, Michelle Concepción, Arnaldo Roche-Rabell, Elmar Rojas, Soledad Salamé, and Mariano Vargas.

Greater Miami’s longest-established contemporary fine art gallery, ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries at 169 Madeira Avenue in Coral Gables has been exhibiting outstanding artists since 1974. For more information, call 305-444-4493 or visit the gallery website,www.virginiamiller.com. 

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