Xu Bing, Phoenix, 2014. Installation view at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York. Courtesy of Xu Bing Studio.

Lecture: Xu Bing

February 24, 2016
6p Reception, 6:30p Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Artist Xu Bing, whose artistic and cultural interventions touch on the fields of public and ecological art, printmaking, new media installations, drawing, and sculpture, will speak as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series. He currently lives and works in Beijing and New York, serving as a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing and as the A.D. White Professors-at-Large at Cornell University.

Solo exhibitions of Xu's work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Washington DC), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), the British Museum (London), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the Joan Miró Foundation (Barcelona), the National Gallery in Prague, and the Spencer Museum of Art (Lawrence, Kansas), among other major institutions. He also has shown his work at the 45th, 51st, and 56th Venice Biennales, the Biennale of Sydney, and the Johannesburg Biennale, among other international exhibitions.

In 1999, Xu received a MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his "capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy," and in 2015,  the U.S. Department of State awarded him a Medal of Arts for his efforts to promote cultural understanding through his artworks. Other honors include the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize (2003); the first Wales International Visual Art Prize, Artes Mundi (2004); a lifetime achievement award from the Southern Graphics Council in recognition of the fact that his "use of text, language, and books has impacted the dialogue of the print and art worlds in significant ways" (2006); and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Columbia University (2010).

In 2006, Princeton University Press published Persistence/Transformation: Text as Image in the Art of Xu Bing, a multidisciplinary study of the artist's landmark work Book from the Sky. Six years later, New York University Press published Xu Bing and Chinese Contemporary Art (edited by Hsingyuan Cao and Roger T. Ames), and Beijing Culture and Arts Press published Xu Bing: the Birth of the Phoenixes (edited by Zhou Zan). Over the years, Xu's work has also appeared in high school and college textbooks around the world, including Art Past – Art Present, Gardner's Art Through the Ages, Chinese Art, a volume in the Oxford History of Art series, Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s, and Art Worlds in Dialogue.

Born in Chongqing, China, in 1955, Xu earned his bachelor's degree from CAFA's printmaking department in 1981 and stayed on as an instructor, earning his MFA in 1987. In 1990, on the invitation of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he moved to the United States. Xu served as CAFA's vice president from 2008-2014 before moving into his current role as a professor, advising PhD students.

Xu Bing Lecture from Sam Fox School on Vimeo.