Painting

Andrew Wyeth exhibited in Beijing

Works of the American painter Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) are exhibited in Beijing and Hong Kong as preparation for a New York Auction. The venue is the YUAN Space and it is jointly coordinated by Christie's and Andelson Galleries from April 14th until May 12th. It is located at the 20th floor of Jiaming Center, Tower B, 27 Eastern Ring Road North, Chaoyang District, Beijing. Wyeth often painted and portrait people living and being around him, famously his muse Helga Testorf. Some of his paintings of her, and related studies were shown in the exhibition. One of his very famous pictures is the painting Christina's World showing a woman from his neighborhood crawling home over the fields. The picture is inspired by Christina Olson (1893–1968) who is believed to have suffered from polio. There are a few books available on Wyeth. One of them is John Wilmerding's Andrew Wyeth: The Helga Pictures, which shows 240 only in the late 1980s disclosed pictures and renderings of Helga, out of which you find some in the Beijing exhibition.

In the Orchard, 1973

Study for On her Knees, 1975

Study for Overflow

Dafen Oil Painting Village in Depression

Dafen Oil Painting village is the place in Shenzhen, where 60 % of the world’s cheap oil paintings are produced. The term “village” is a bit misleading. However, Dafen has some nice views and last year made first attempts to move “upstream” in terms of what is called arts. According to today’s issue of the South China Morning Post, in 2006 about 500 million RMB worth of paintings were exported from Dafen. The main clients were American property owners and Hotels. But since September, sales literally collapsed by 70 %. And even prices eroded 30 % still the volume keeps low. Also domestic sales is weak. Last year, even in the boom times, I felt that Dafen is a village of broken dreams for artists. So much skill and so poor living and working conditions, painting all the time the same motives. But now even this went down. The artists get laid off. And the income which was around 200 RMB per painting is now down to 20-30 RMB. It really did not take long until the financial crisis moved from Wall Street to Main Street. But here it is hitting the rice bowl now.

If you want to go there from Shenzhen by taxi and do not speak Chinese, print this for the taxi driver: Long Gang District, Da Fen Oil Painting Village, 龙岗区大芬油画村