“Edge CXLI,” (1993) with “Yangtze River, China” (1979) by Cai Xi.
Courtesy photo
“Edge CXLI,” (1993) with “Yangtze River, China” (1979) by Cai Xi.

CX Silver Gallery presents new exhibit by Cai Xi

BRATTLEBORO-CX Silver Gallery, 814 Western Ave., presents "Then and Now" an exhibition of works by Cai Xi, through Aug. 26.

Cai was in the first generation of art students when universities in China reopened after The Cultural Revolution. According to the gallery's website, her work "traces a path from Sichuan Style in the late '70s with a palette intermingling hues that echo the surrounding environment, and the Shanghai style of the '80s, with color used straight from the tube, with bold and loose strokes, to the present day through a selection of landscape and abstraction."

In her early teens in the 1970s, Cai studied under her father, a stage designer. He gave her an essential lesson: to draw an egg 100 times, explaining that the result should be a 100 differences in emotional subtlety. Cai says her studies had a realistic approach to the characteristics of the object and the relationship between light, shadow, and surroundings.

Her only exposure to Impressionism and German Expressionism was through magazines, yet the limited views opened her imagination.

Arriving in New York in 1987, Cai embraced the idea that art is possible everywhere and in everything.

"In the 90s, I derived inspiration from cement sidewalks, the subway walls, and weathered buildings. Everywhere I went, I kept discovering painting in my surroundings," Cai writes in her artist statement. "Surface and texture have been self-renewing areas of exploration. My mother's principle of Tong - Going Through, her word for 'leaving the body and changing bones' led to a greater transformation that is present with me."

Since 2001, Cai has lived in Vermont, inspired, she says, by the landscape. "For me, Art is about Paradox: appearance-disappearance, nothingness-wholeness, chaos-groundedness, emptiness-substance, movement-fixity. This is Tao. That is being in the present."

For more information on the exhibit, call 802-257-7898, ext. 1, or visit cxsilvergallery.com.

This Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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