Lyrical abstract painter's works on show at Mark Rothko Center

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A retrospective of the Chinese abstract painter Hsiao Chin is on show at Daugavpils' Mark Rothko Center, the center's representatives said.

Chin, born in Shanghai in 1935, does work that is "saturated with a profound understanding of Chinese culture; equally, his paintings are luminously intelligent about the history of art in Europe."

The curators describe the artist and his links with Latvia-born abstract expressionist Mark Rothko thusly: 

"Hsiao Chin arrived in Spain in the late 1950s but found the art education there too ‘conservative’ and moved to Milan, at that moment a hub for artists from all around the world. Together with artists such as Lucio Fontana, he helped to shape European abstract painting. But it is also the case that his encounter with Milan and European culture prompted him to reflect on the Chinese traditions which had nurtured his early life.

"‘After experiencing and researching contemporary Western ideas first hand [in Spain and Italy], I felt a cultural shock and became more aware of the richness and profundity of my country’s artistic culture and philosophical thinking’.

"His paintings which are on view at the Centre fuse western and Asian elements of painting and culture, making dramas out of the encounter of Chinese brushstrokes with the colour palette of European painting, of the language of Buddhism and of western modernism.

"In the late 1960s, Hsiao Chin went to the US and in 1968 met Mark Rothko. Hsiao Chin felt an affinity with Rothko, especially with his commitment to spirituality and his rejection of commerce and materialism."

The exhibition is on show from June 2 to October 25. 

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