Ai Weiwei Exhibition Tradition and Dissent July 17, 2021 to January 2, 2022 at Springfield Museums

Details of Internationally Renowned Artist Ai Weiwei Exhibition at Springfield Museums

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The Springfield Museums is pleased to announce Ai Weiwei: Tradition and Dissent opening to the public on July 17, 2021, and on display through January 2, 2022. This special exhibition curated exclusively for the Springfield Museums features rare works from three decades of the artist's career. Declared the most powerful artist in the world by ArtReview magazine in 2011, this exciting new show is not to be missed!

Internationally renowned artist and social activist Ai Weiwei (born 1957, Beijing), is an art innovator, provocateur, and political dissident who explores tradition in non-traditional, even radical ways. This exhibit focuses on artworks that represent Ai's engagement with traditional Chinese materials, methods, motifs, and artifacts. "Ai Weiwei makes the old new again by creating a thoughtful link between his Chinese cultural heritage and his creative endeavors," said Maggie North, Curator of Art for the Springfield Museums. Many of Ai Weiwei's works suggest a critique of the restrictive political system in China or provide commentary about a cultural present that is informed by the past.

Although Ai Weiwei is already well-known and celebrated in the art-world, social-political fields, and beyond, the Springfield Museums aim to expand his audience.

Featured in the exhibition are works that exemplify Ai's ability to create art that is simultaneously approachable and complex. The artist's most recent project, his LEGO Zodiac (2018) portrait series, for example, depicts the twelve animals of the ancient Chinese zodiac in panels created from colorful toy bricks.

Curated specifically for display at the Springfield Museums, this exhibition is a rare opportunity to explore well-known works by the artist including Sunflower Seeds (2008-2010)Han Dynasty Urn with Coca-Cola Logo (2007), and Double Stools (2004). Fascinating in their own right, these works also offer a contemporary lens through which to view the historic collections of Chinese decorative arts on view at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum.

"It is thrilling to show work by such a renowned, contemporary artist," said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums. "We hope our loyal audience and many new visitors come to experience this rare opportunity to behold Ai Weiwei's unparalleled work."

This exhibition has been made possible in part by a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.

Located in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts, the Springfield Museums offers access to five world-class museums and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden all under a single admission.