Chairman Mao is everywhere, in photos, drawings, posters, paintings, and tchotchkes, his visage (including a big mole on his chin) standardized in 1949 by China’s Central Propaganda Department. Included here are bold posters of workers and soldiers with beaming smiles or determined grimaces, all furthering the Cultural Revolution within Mao’s cult of personality. Rather shocking are innocuous landscapes that held no ideological purpose and thus were condemned for “bourgeois decadence.” A beautiful ink painting (1972) depicting rugged pine trees, by Shi Lu (1919–89), is typical of work that led to the imprisonment and torture of apolitical artists.
Tuesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m. Starts: Nov. 6. Continues through Jan. 11, 2008
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 5, 2008