Sculptor, performer, photographer, architect, curator and blogger, he is known internationally for his provocative and political art. He is an opposition figure to the Chinese government and an emblem of freedom of expression in China, openly criticizing the Chinese government’s position on democracy and human rights. Ai was among the first generation of students to study abroad following China’s reform in 1980, and lived in the United States from 1981 to 1993, attending the Arts Students League of New York, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley.
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Founded in 1926 by Christian Zervos at 14, rue du Dragon in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Cahiers d’Art encompasses a publishing house, a gallery, and a revue. The Cahiers d’Art Revue was entirely unique when it was introduced, and it still is: a revue of contemporary art defined by its combination of striking typography and layout, abundant photography, and juxtaposition of ancient and modern art. Between the 1920s and the mid-1970s, Cahiers d’Art published ninety-seven issues of the Revue and more than fifty books on fine art and architecture, as well as the thirty-three volume catalogue raisonné of Pablo Picasso. After its acquisition and relaunch in 2012 by Staffan Ahrenberg, an editorial board comprised of Sam Keller, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Isabela Mora, and Staffan Ahrenberg was created. Cahiers d’Art has since published several new Revues and art books devoted to Ellsworth Kelly, Rosemarie Trockel, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Schütte, Gabriel Orozco, Joan Miró, Lucas Arruda, Ai Weiwei, Arthur Jafa, Frank Gehry, Christo, and others. From the 1920s till today, Cahiers d’Art has maintained a gallery, exhibiting the artists it publishes. Cahiers d’Art continues to fulfill its mission to be the cultural bridge between the avant-garde of Picasso, Duchamp, and Le Corbusier, and the leading artists and architects of our time.
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