The Artblog Reviews Arcadia’s Exhibit Catalog, 'Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn'

August 26, 2011

The Artblog reviewed Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn, the Arcadia University Art Gallery’s catalog for the 2010 exhibit, on Aug. 25. Written by Richard Torchia, Gallery Director, Gregg Moore, Associate Professor of Art and Design, Philip Tinari, and Ai Weiwei, the book was published by Ram Distribution in 2010.

This is a superb book worthy of a museum. A catalog of the 2010 exhibit by the same name, the book was produced by little Arcadia University Art Gallery, whose talent always seems to match its ambitions. With 5 essays, a great Q&A with the artist from 1995 and lots of photos, the 125-page book adds a lot to the discussion about the important Chinese dissident artist. Ai Wei Wei, who in his interview speaks in pithy Confucian epigrams, is in fact known almost as much for his writings and dissidence as for his conceptual and epigrammatic art.

Gallery director Richard Torchia and co-author Gregg Moore provide the context for the 2010 exhibit—the first solo exhibit in the US outside New York.  They explain Ai’s ambivalent relationship with ceramics, which he uses in his practice but considers a mixed blessing because of the history of Chinese ceramics hanging heavy over his head.

Arcadia exhibited Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn, Feb. 24 – April 18, 2010. The book features four essays commissioned for the exhibition and also includes the first English translation of an interview with Ai originally published in his White Cover Book (1995). Read the article.

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