The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Xiaoze Xie: Amplified Moments March 11–May 15, 2011.

February 17, 2011

Amplified Moments is the first major US exhibition to survey the work of Xiaoze Xie (pronounced shout-zah shee-ay), an important Chinese contemporary artist. More than 30 works document his achievements in painting, drawing, photography, installation, and video, and represent his use of books and newspapers to symbolize the fragile nature of history and memory.

Although Xie intended to pursue a career in architecture, the violent military crackdown on student protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 compelled him to shift his energies. He left the People’s Republic of China three years later after completing his training as a painter, and began using symbolic imagery derived from newspapers, decaying books, museum libraries, and media images of current events. For Xie, stacks of printed pages represent not only cultural memory and the passage of time, but the ways in which history is interpreted and recorded according to various belief systems and political agendas.

Xie’s labor-intensive paintings consist of successive layers of pigment applied over several weeks. Working largely from photographs, the artist paints in a manner that is influenced by his camera. Some imagery appears cropped, blurred, and hazy, as if viewed through a photographic lens or perhaps through the filter of memory. The resulting compositions reach near-photographic precision without losing the evidence of the artist’s masterful brushwork.

KMA members are invited to an exhibition preview Thursday, March 10, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The artists and exhibition curator Dan Mills will present a short gallery talk at 6:30pm. A cash bar will be available.

Xie is the Paul L. and Phyllis Wattis Professor in Art at Stanford University. His works are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and several distinguished private collections.

Xiaoze Xie: Amplified Moments is organized by Samek Art Museum, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Sponsors for this exhibition include the Tennessee Arts Commission. Media sponsors include AT&T Real yellow Pages, Digital Media Graphix, Method Bureau, and WBIR.

The Knoxville Museum of Art The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10am–5pm, Friday 10am–8pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit