Press Release The Andy Warhol Museum Announces Michel Chow aka Zhou Yinghua: Voice for My Father, Opening February 2016
For immediate release
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Michael Chow aka Zhou Yinghua: Voice for My Father
February 13 – May 8, 2016
The Andy Warhol Museum announces the opening of Michael Chow aka Zhou Yinghua: Voice for My Father, the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States. The exhibition features three main bodies of work, which include new paintings completed expressly for The Warhol show, vintage photographs of the artist’s father Zhou Xinfang—a grand master of the Beijing Opera—and a collection of portraits of Chow painted by his contemporaries, such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Ed Ruscha, linking his practice with the contemporary art communities of London, New York, and Los Angeles.
“Michael Chow’s story of breaking into and then creating his very own cosmopolitan world is an interesting parallel to Warhol’s rags-to-riches story,” says Jessica Beck, The Warhol’s associate curator of art. “The parallel is made even richer with the inclusion of Chow’s 1962 paintings, which he showed at the ICA in London—a monumental year for Warhol with his first major solo show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.”
The exhibition represents Chow’s return to painting after a nearly 50-year sabbatical. It was conceived as an homage to the artist’s father, and it is thought of as a return to the creative voice embodied for the artist by his father. It is anchored by several of the artist’s monumental paintings, works whose style reflect the visual traditions of Chinese art, Western abstract expressionism, and the bold gestures of Qi School Beijing opera, founded by Chow’s father. The new canvases are dramatic and expressionistic large-scale works composed of varied materials such as household paint and precious metals. The dense layers and complexity of materials create paintings that have rich, tactile surfaces, referencing the “Qi School Expressionism” that evokes a visceral sense of movement while conveying the artist’s passion for his father and his culture.
Accompanying the paintings in the exhibition are archival photos of Zhou Xinfang, Chow’s father, and his performances. Seen as both an artistic institution and a microcosm for a larger movement, the evolution of the Qi School reflects the complex history and cultural memory of modern China.
Chow was born in Shanghai in 1939, and now resides in Los Angeles, California. His life has been marked by forced migration, an entrepreneurial spirit, and an engagement and familiarity with some of the most avant-garde cultural figures of his time. Chow studied painting at the Saint Martin’s School of Art and then at the Hammersmith School of Building and Architecture, both in London, before changing course and opening his first restaurant MR CHOW in 1968, which became an international success, spawning locations around the globe.
MR CHOW operates in seven locations around the world and has become synonymous with high-end Chinese cuisine and the diverse set of artists and luminaries for whom the restaurant was (and remains) a social hub. Now after nearly 50 years, he has returned to his first passion and paints almost daily.
This exhibition is sponsored by U.S. Trust.
The Warhol receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and The Heinz Endowments. Further support is provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District.
The Andy Warhol Museum
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the place of Andy Warhol’s birth, The Andy Warhol Museum holds the largest collection of Warhol’s artworks and archival materials and is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Warhol is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.4 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.