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Hand-Painted China

Nothing has come on stronger in the late 20th and early 21st centuries than Chinese artwork, and, amazingly, Denver has been a center for its new appreciation. Ron Otsuka, Asian art curator for the Denver Art Museum, is one of many reasons why. Though his stock and trade is historical art, he has also championed modern and contemporary Asian art, as in Xu Beihong: Pioneer of Modern Chinese Painting.

“This exhibition is the first time these artworks have been exhibited together outside of China,” says Otsuka. “Short of taking a trip to Beijing, you will not have an opportunity like this again.” Beihong is a pioneer of contemporary realism in China, the main current in art there. “He laid the groundwork for realism in art after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, during the Cultural Revolution and in the late 20th century,” notes Julie Segraves, director of the Asian Art Coordinating Committee and another Denver-based expert in the field.

The show, which requires special tickets, opens this morning at 10 a.m. in the DAM’s Hamilton Building, 100 West 14th Avenue Parkway, and runs through January 29. Call 720-865-5000 or go to for additional details and tickets.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Oct. 30. Continues through Jan. 29, 2011


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