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items tagged with Peter Xiao

Art in Plain Sight: “Cadence of Diversity”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Feature Stories

2014-06-18 17:19:35

Photo by Bruce Walters

Cadence of Diversity is a joyful mural – rich with expressions of many cultures that are balanced with an underlying theme of connectedness.

The 100-foot-long mural is painted on a concrete wall just south of Seventh Avenue on 38th Street in Rock Island. Working with more than 50 Augustana students, Peter Xiao – a professor of art at the college – led the mural’s development and execution throughout much of 2009, completing the work in the spring of 2010.


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“Our Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Corot”: A Memorial Tribute to Jim Konrad, Through September 17 at the Augustana College Art Museum
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Feature Stories

2011-08-26 14:35:03

'Family Portrait' (1976)

There is no doubt that Jim Konrad was a brilliant technician.

“He knew more about the nature of artist materials than any other artist in the Quad Cities,” said Sherry Maurer, director of the Augustana College Art Museum.

“He was very serious about technique,” said his wife Cathy. “And they [his artworks] all have superb technique – color form, composition, things like that.” She called him an “artist’s artist.”

Peter Xiao, a teaching colleague of Konrad’s at Augustana for more than two decades, said the artist’s work is “perfectly balanced” in terms of color – the dark and light, the chromatic scheme.

The Figge Art Museum, in its description of two Konrad works in its collection, notes his “meticulous craftsmanship and expertise in painting methods and materials.”

And in an interview with Bruce Carter earlier this year for the WVIK program Art Talks, Konrad (whom I never met) called himself a teacher of fundamentals. “The more you understand about how to use your materials and how to do it, the more it frees you to be an artist,” he said.

'Landscape (Grey Barn)' (1990)

Konrad’s technical acumen is plainly evident in the Augustana College Art Museum’s current memorial exhibit, celebrating the artist and faculty member who died in May at age 67.

For just one admittedly minor illustration, look at how he painted masking tape in a number of pieces. As Maurer said, “Sometimes ... we’ve had big debates as to whether it’s real tape or not.”

But praising somebody’s proficiency – even one as fine-tuned as Konrad’s – can be a backhanded compliment. And the body of work on display at Augustana College shows an artist fluent in many forms of expression who explored the world in rich and sometimes discomforting ways.


Read More About “Our Van Gogh, CéZanne, And Corot”: A Memorial Tribute To Jim Konrad, Through September 17 At The Augustana College Art Museum...


Your Roots Are Showing -- “Roots: Who’s Your Momma?,” at Quad City Arts Through October 1
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Reviews

2010-09-13 11:53:06

Corbett Fogue, Untitled

Quad City Arts has hosted a variety of themed shows over the years – such as The Cat Show, The Dog Show, and The Artist in You – but the current Roots: Who’s Your Momma? reveals an emotional intellectualism in many of our local artists. Running through October 1, the exhibit features 49 artworks by 29 regional artists, and in a novel move, the exhibit has been divided between two venues: Quad City Arts in Rock Island and the German American Heritage Center in Davenport.

The artists who truly tackled the theme of Roots generated some thought-provoking pieces that make the viewer contemplate different aspects of the concept of “home.” While several works are too loosely connected to the theme, poignant and well executed art dominates. And the inclusion of artists’ statements makes the show accessible to the casual viewer, connecting the work to the theme. (Full disclosure: I have a piece in the show and work occasionally at the Quad City Arts gallery.)


Read More About Your Roots Are Showing -- “Roots: Who’S Your Momma?,” At Quad City Arts Through October 1...


Memory, Identity: Peter Xiao and Les Bell, through November 25 at Quad City Arts
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Art

Category: Feature Stories

2009-11-19 16:27:24

Peter Xiao, 'Guardians of State.' Click for a larger version.The centerpiece of the current two-person exhibit at Quad City Arts is a collection of four paintings recalling Peter Xiao's childhood in China.

From an artistic perspective, Xiao is rendering people more conventionally in terms of both figure and color, said Les Bell, the other artist in the show. In the past, he said, Xiao worked in a "cubistic" space, bending figures and objects and colors to meet the formal needs of the piece.

Bell called Xiao's use of color in these new works "smoldering," and said: "It's a much more complex level of narrative than I've ever seen in his work. ... I'm completely charmed by the drama of these scenes."

Bell also said that "you'd swear he was working from models to get these individual personalities."

But these works come from memory, and Xiao -- a professor at Augustana College -- said that "I sort of turned [auto]biographical for the first time. I always worked with the figure but was usually shy about putting myself there, because you want to be objective about things."


Read More About Memory, Identity: Peter Xiao And Les Bell, Through November 25 At Quad City Arts...





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