In Revolution There is Justice


 
Old Labor Revolutionary Team of the Vehicle Repair Section, Changxindian Dist. (Modern)
In Revolution There is Justice
China, Beijing, China, Modern period
7/1968
Painting
Gouache on paper (framed)
ca. 87.5 x 180 cm.
Museum purchase, Fowler McCormick, Class of 1921, Fund
2001-44


Description

Painted in 1968 during the Cultural Revolution, In Revolution there Is Justice exemplifies a style developed in deliberate reaction against the elite or literati painting and calligraphy traditions in imperial China. Art theory and manifestos of the period adopted the cry for art to serve the aims of the state. In contrast to the personalized tradition of literati art, the new paintings were often anonymous or, as in this example, signed by a factory division or collective group. Other deliberate reactions to past styles include the use of bright colors and an industrial calligraphy script now arranged horizontally to read from left to right. The painting is comprised of two different pieces of paper. At the top of the painting, a red sun with a portrait of Chairman Mao surveys the nation. Such skilled portrayals were likely painted by sanctioned artists specializing in images of Chairman, and distributed on separate pieces of paper to be incorporated into larger paintings by lesser trained artists and propagandists. Below is a figure of a man with upraised arms, holding a copy of the Sayings of Chairman Mao. Visible under the pigments of the figures are faint gridlines that were used in plotting or transferring the image from a set model or pattern. The red four-character slogan "In Revolution There Is Justice" appears in the middle of the painting. Below, the inscription reads: "In the doctrine of Marxism there are one thousand principles and ten thousand guidelines, but in the final analysis it comes down to just one saying: 'In Revolution There Is Justice.'"

Bottom Inscription:
In the doctrine of Marxism there are one-thousand principles and ten-thousand guidelines, but in the final analysis it comes down to just one saying: "In Revolution There is Justice." Old Labor Revolutionary Team of the Vehicle Repair Section, Changxindian District, 7/68.
[Note: Changxindian is a district in suburban Beijing, and the Section was a vehicle repair shop or garage.]

Published References & Reproductions

Newsletter of the Princeton University Art Museum (Spring/Summer 2001).

Michael Kimmelman, "From the Caribbean to Russia," art review of NJ exhibits, New York Times, July 20, 2001, "Arts section."

"Art Museum's Recent Acquisitions Span Millennia and the Globe," Princeton with One Accord (Summer 2001), p. 2, illus.

"Puda xinjin yishu pin te zhan" ("Special Exhibition of Recent Art Acquistions at Princeton"), Shijie ribao (World Journal), Aug. 4, 2001, NJ section, p. 13, illus.

J. May Lee-Barrett, "American Museums Highlight Recent Acquisitions," Asian Art Newspaper 4, no. 9 (Sept. 2001), p. 38, illus.

Record of the Princeton University Art Museum 61 (2002), pp. 134 (illus.), 135 noted as recent acquisition.