Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery,
February 9 – February 28
by Neal Baker
During the Tang Dynasty from A.D. 618 to 907, China saw the rise of a distinctive style of pottery known as sancai. A type of lead-glazed earthenware, original sancai is distinguished by its use of copper and iron to create a white, green and yellow color scheme that is seen primarily in grave goods from dates across four centuries of China’s history.
Ceramicist Guo Aihe brings this historic tradition into the modern age, working from his home in Luoyang, China, where sancai first developed. Named a “Chinese Ceramic Art Master,” Aihe’s work includes some sculpture reminiscent of original artifacts, but he is best known for his application of the traditional glazes on ceramic tiles, creating paintings and murals that sometimes fit neatly on a gallery wall and other times stretch for hundreds of feet through public spaces. For these projects he utilizes a whole spectrum of brilliant colors, moving far beyond the three-color palette from centuries ago. Accentuated by the vitreous nature of the glaze, his colors appear to bleed and opalesce across works that sometimes depict historical scenes or impressionistic landscapes and other times retreat into abstraction.
Aihe’s art has found a home in major galleries across the world, and this February he will be having a solo exhibition at the Russell Collection in celebration of the Lunar New Year. February 9 marks the opening, with a reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. that will feature live music and an auction benefiting the nonprofit Caring for Cambodia.