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【评论】Living by Exploring the Painting Language

--Preface for The Exhibition of Luo Zhongli’ Small-sized Paintings

2016-12-14 09:10:59 来源:艺术家提供作者:Wang Lin
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  In the first half of the 1990s,there was a story like this:

  For a long time after he came back from abroad,Luo Zhongli shut himself in his half studio in the Pedagogical Department of Sichuan Fine Art Institute,as the other half was a storeroom.After the series of Countryside,though Luo has experienced the baptism of the new fashioned art,but he is determined to spend all his life on painting the peasants and seeking for a breaking point in the stereotyped academy realism creation.

  At that time,we live in the same apartment building in the old campus of the institute.I saw him go to the studio with a thermos bottle at dawn and came back at dusk everyday,which is very much like Jules Verne in Around the World in Eighty Days,who always arrives at the exact time.Then there comes a day.Luo asked me to have a look at his new paintings.I must say I was shocked.The series of Countryside,for example "Blowing off the Dust",have overturned completely his previous painting style.He starts with the transformation of the figures,shifting his realism to transcendentalism and fantasy.Those figures are as solid and plump as wood sculptures,full of the primitive impulse and mysterious sense.I have been thinking this series as one of his best so far.I once made a comment like this: "The figures tend to be deformed and exaggerated.They are laid against the daily scenes.The solid and plump figures are painted with jumbled lines and vulgar colors like pink,emerald green,violet blue,etc.--All these elements combined together to manifest the primitive power of life,the absurdity of life's paradox and tradition,and the conflict of the tough body and the whole being.All these elements mix together and construct one and another highly rural and weird folk painting.His paintings present rich and complicated feelings of survival and cultural identity".This series are really impressive.--I had strongly recommended him to participate in the Exhibition of Art Critics Nominee in Beijing in 1994 in order that the public might get to know the series.The former principal had particularly reminded me by saying that: "Luo Zhongli has been the banner of Sichuan Fine Art.I saw his recent paintings,but do you really think they are brilliant?" The principal had enough reasons to worry.The art director of Taiwan Mountain Art Foundation,the agency of Luo's paintings,didn't agree his participation.So I went to go to Beijing to convince him.That new series were finally on display with 20 other top painters on Chinese continent in National Art Museum of China,and won lots of praises from the critics and the art circle.

  This series promote the art trend and art language of the 80s' rural paintings.

  Later,Luo Zhongli explored further many other aspects of art.He painted the portraits like Man in Liangshang,Peasant at My Hometown Bishan,also the Series of My countryside.He studied the way of body painting of Picasso's new classic works and the rough sketch of Rouault religious expressionism.He had also tried to repaint the paintings of the west part and landscape part in Reread the Art History and to dissolve the pictures into liner form of oil painting and colored sculpture works.If you have ever seen his paintings on the same topic within 24 years,--for example,he has repetitively painted "Blowing off the Dust" ,you will be able to figure out how hard it is for an artist to explore the distinctive art language which unique to him and the logic thoughts for his creation.

  Among all his paintings,what can best present his painting freedom are those of his small-sized paintings which are painted anywhere and anytime within these years.Whether they are the line drawings of the scenery or the rural figure paintings,whether they are light-colored freehand sketching in tense lines and full of symbolic meanings out of confused memory,or the Graffiti style paintings in heavy colors and relaxed techniques,we can easily sense the courage of the artist in his continuous exploration of the art language of his own.His painting experience is the historical experience of Chinese Rural paintings,as well as the expression of personal psychological state and social spiritual state.In his paintings,the so-called "countryside" is the original place of Chinese society,culture,history and reality,where the wild nature and mystery of primal desire,the panic and energy of human,the chaos and vitality of the scenery make the symbols of this era--in which peasants and countryside are the witnesses of the Chinese civilization.

  I personally like the small-sized paintings that Luo has created very much,as from these paintings,I can see my buddy Luo being the freest,liveliest,deepest,most traversing,most intelligent and sensitive,most humorous and irony,surely most natural and realest artist,--a man living by exploring the art language.

  For him,I wrote this preface.

Sept.1,2016

Huangjueping Campus of SFAI

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