Lexington, KY (Oct. 13, 2014) - 2014 is the Year of the Horse according to the Chinese lunar calendar. To celebrate this cultural tradition within the Horse Capital of the World, the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park, in partnership with the University of Kentucky's Confucius Institute, and UK's School of Art and Visual Studies, will host a special exhibition of ink horse paintings by Xu Qingping, a Chinese artist from Beijing, Oct. 18, 2014 to Feb. 17, 2015.
A free public lecture on horse painting will be given by the artist at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 18, in the South Theater of the Visitor Center at the Kentucky Horse Park. All attendees are welcome to tour the exhibition and the Kentucky Horse Park for free following the lecture that day.
Xu Qingping's paintings are highly influenced by traditional Chinese ink painting within a Western academic milieu as made famous by his father, Xu Beihong. By adding color and additional elements to his work, Xu Qingping has differentiated himself from his father while still remaining grounded by his influence.
Xu Qingping was born in Beijing in 1946 and holds a doctoral degree in fine arts from University of Paris-Sorbonne. He was professor of art history and a member of the academic committee of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Currently he is deputy curator of the Xu Beihong Museum, vice chairman of the Chinese Painters and Calligraphers Association, and dean of the Xu Beihong Arts Research Academy at Renmin University of China. He is also an adviser to doctoral students, a council member of the Chinese Artists Association and recipient of a State Council Special Fellowship.
Xu Beihong was a legendary Chinese painter whose ink horse paintings are imbued with Western techniques of anatomy mixed with the traditional dynamic free ink play of traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. Known for his galloping horses, the symbol of unbridled spirit in Chinese culture, Xu Beihong successfully developed a synthesis of Chinese and Western traditions in his work after attending the Paris Art Academy in the 1920s.
Horse painting was an important subject in Chinese art. Images of horses appeared in paintings in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.). Artists from the succeeding dynasties also built quite an impressive repertoire of horse paintings culminating in the Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.) and Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.).
The exhibition will be on view through Feb. 17, 2015 - the last day of the Year of the Horse. School field trips and other activities will be scheduled during the run of the exhibition. In addition, an art contest will be organized by the Confucius Institute for both K-12 students and UK College of Fine Arts students, with awards given out at the close of the exhibition.
For additional information about the exhibition and associated programs, visit http://www.uky.edu/international/confucius_institute or www.imh.org.
The Kentucky Horse Park is open daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Nov. 2. Admission is $16 for adults and $8 for children 7-12, and includes the Next Day Free. Beginning Nov. 3, the park will switch to its winter schedule and will be open Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Winter admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for children 7-12, and includes the Next Day Free. Children 6 and under are always admitted free of charge when accompanied by a paying adult. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse, a Smithsonian Affiliate; and the "Showplace for Saddlebreds" - The American Saddlebred Museum & Gift Shop.