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Last show at Shanghai Art Museum
By Wang Jie

A major exhibit of big-name Chinese expressionists is the final exhibition of the Shanghai Art Museum on Nanjing Road W. before it moves to its new home in the China Pavilion from the World Expo 2010 Shanghai in Pudong.

The last day of the exhibition, and of the museum's public operations, will be next Monday, December 31.

The museum next to People's Square was the former clubhouse of the Shanghai Race Club.

It's near the Shanghai Grand Theater, People's Park and the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall.

The future use of the neoclassical building constructed in 1933 has not be decided.

"Perhaps some people don't remember the first exhibition at museum, but this last exhibition will be unforgettable," says Zhen Hao, organizer of the exhibition.

Around 30 canvases of Chinese expressionism are on loan from the collection of the privately run How Art Museum, which is scheduled to open next October in the Pudong New Area.

Big-name artists in the exhibition include Luo Zhongli, Zhou Chunya, Xia Xiaowan and Zhang Enli.

The term "Expressionism" was first used in 1911 in Der Sturm, a German magazine covering the expressionist movement.

The style of art is more associated with emotional expression and spiritual vision than with literal interpretation of a subject. It became an international movement.

"Expressionism has endured and developed throughout the whole 20th century," says Jia Fangzhou, a famous art critic and curator of the current exhibition.

"In the past, classical realism dominated the mainstream in China's art community. Yet in my eyes, expressionism is filled with more power and visual impact than realism. Chinese expressionism is the kind of art that fuses with Chinese cultural and artistic elements," he says.

The highlights of the exhibition are oil paintings by Luo Zhongli.

Luo achieved early recognition while he was still at junior at the Sichuan Art Academy.

His realistic canvas "Father" won first prize in a national art competition. But Luo took another direction, taking as his subject the lives of poor farmers.

"When you look at my canvases, you won't find those familiar images of Chinese peasants," Luo has said. "I try to unearth the basic traits of all human beings by looking at peasants, such as the primitive nature and vitality of mankind."


Date: Through December 31, 9am-5pm

Address: 325 Nanjing Rd W.

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