Shao Wei, Chair, British Chinese Collectors Association
The Meeting of Minds
Anna Chromy’s exhibition in the National Museum of China and Today Art museum is a great event for the Beijing art circle this autumn. I hope all those who love art will feel and share the joy and impact that these selected works of art bring to us, together with this outstanding painter and sculptress. May her love, her talent and the beauty that she has created live forever and enrich the world we are living in.
This is the first time that the National Museum of China has hosted an art exhibition for a single foreign artist. From the centre of the European Renaissance to the ancient capital of China, from Michelangelo’s valley to the National Museum of China, the two long and celebrated civilisations meet in the golden autumn in Beijing with this outstanding exhibition – a collection of sculptures and sketches by the world renowned artist Anna Chromy.
Anna Chromy was born in the Czech Republic. She was very much influenced by her musician father. She later went to Paris to study art and became a student of Salvador Dali, the artist who enjoyed the same fame as Picasso and Matisse. She remains the only female sculptor who has won Premio Michelangelo, the highest prize for sculpture in Italy. She is also a winner of the Kafka Award.
Anna Chromy’s sculptures are living legends revived through marbles and bronze. By drawing on Baroque ideas and surrealism, and integrating music with art, they bring to life the spirit of ancient Greek-Roman art in the 21st century in Beijing, the capital of another ancient civilisation.
The collection at the National Museum of China consists of over 30 carefully selected sculptures and original sketch drawings, including some of the best known works of art like Goddess of Sunshine, Ulysses, Sisyphus, and Prometheus. All Anna Chromy’s works combine classic Italian romanticism and European surrealism superbly. I still believe that her Eurydice, Musicians and Goddess of Sunshine are among the best of her collections.
The Europa (also known as the Goddess of Sunshine) is coming towards us from the distant horizon, riding waves in the morning sunshine, with the bright glow turning her scarf into a burning flame, and the waves underneath her feet blowing the marching horn. With eagerness and firmness in her eyes, her head slightly held, her both arms extending high against the wind and her legs gathering strength, she is ready for another leap into the sky.
Eurydice revives the earth-moving love story in the snow white marble, named after the wife of Orpheus who could captivate all the animals with his songs and music, one of the most moving love stories since in ancient Greek mythology. Here, the enticing body of Eurydice from the ancient Greek sacred mount is reclining against a modern cello. With her imagination that transcends time and space and her artistic inspiration that integrates music and sculpture, Anna Chromy is recounting vividly that tragic story of love.
Musicians is a group of sculptures originally created for a fountain in the old city of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. The sculpture of four musicians and one dancer (or five art nymphs) signifies the five rivers in the world: the violin stands for the Danube which is slow and quiet at one time and fast and roaring at another; the trumpet for the long and magnificent Mississippi; the flute for the Amazon with its innumerable twists and turns; the mandolin for the holy Ganges; and the dancer for the passionate Nile. Music and art are just like these rivers, flowing from the ancient times, continuously to now, never ending.
I wish Anna Chromy’s exhibition great success in China.
Finally, I wish to thank Sunshine Insurance Group Corporation Limited for its generous sponsorship. My sincere thanks also to Georgia Yang, Beijing Shiji Lingxiao International Exhibition Co. Limited, and all my dear friends for their support.
Chair, British Chinese Collectors Association