"The Mark of Time:
Dialogues with Vivian Tsao on Art in New York"

Author:  Vivian Tsao
Category: ART BOOK
Biddington's Item #:  504110
Price:  $35
Dimensions:  Softcover. 192 pages with 111 images (84 color).
Language:  Chinese with 14 pages accompanying excerpts in English.
Date:  February 2003
Publisher:  Hsiung Shih Art Books Company, Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan
ISBN:  957-474-053-6


Vivian Tsao art book
Description: "The Mark of Time: Dialogues with Vivian Tsao on Art in New York" is a collection of previously published writings on art in the Chinese language by painter Vivian Tsao. The newly-revised articles appeared in the "Hsiung Shih Art Monthly", "Artist" and "China Times" all originally published in Taiwan between 1979-1999.

Tsao's aesthetic judgment is so specific that even those who don't read Chinese will appreciate her image selections, and the book is also accompanied by several pages of English text including:
  • Table of Contents
  • Summary of "Poetic Reflections", Kramer and Di Piero Article
  • Introduction to "The Mark of Time: An Interview with Antonio Lopez Garcia"
  • Excerpts from "Interview with New Realist Philip Pearlstein"
  • Excerpts from interview "Hilton Kramer on Beckmann and the Neo-Expressionists"
  • Excerpts from Vivian Tsao essay "Painting and Me"

In the first section, which makes up more than half of this book, Tsao introduces and interviews leading Western art figures such as realist painters Antonio Lopez Garcia and Philip Pearlstein and critics Michael Brenson and Hilton Kramer.

In the second section of commentaries, Tsao compares art writings by Kramer with those by poet W.S. Di Piero. She also reviews and comments on New York City exhibitions including "Realism from China". In her revision, Tsao adds insights gained from seeing shows of classical Chinese art in New York City during the 1990's. The in-depth interviews and reacquaintance with Chinese art past and present reflect her point of view as a bi-cultural observer.

Writing from the perspective of an artist, Tsao explores images and questions that intrigue her in her own pursuits. Two articles in the book directly pertain to her own work: In the first, Tsao is interviewed--via correspondence--by Huang Chun Hsiu on the art of the pastel. In the second, written on the occasion of her solo show at the National History Museum in Taiwan, Tsao looks back on her own artistic development.

Tsao devotes the book's final chapter to Chinese translations of "New York Times" art reviews by Michael Brenson and Hilton Kramer. Tsao uses these translations of art criticism to elucidate the transforming Chinese art world.

Image and text are equal partners in this book of essays. For Tsao, the image triggers the writing. The author enjoyed the cooperation of museums, galleries and artists in New York City for the 111 (mostly color) images reproduced in the book. Jacket photos of the Spanish master Antonio Lopez Garcia and his sculpture "Standing Maria" anchor this international project.

To view paintings online by this Taiwan-born artist and author see
Artist Who Meditates on Light

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