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A New Chapter: Liu Shiming Art Gallery Brings Modern Chinese Sculpture to Manhattan

Updated: Apr 17

A night of art and legacy: The opening of the Liu Shiming Art Gallery draws a vibrant crowd to Midtown Manhattan.

On March 12, 2024, the art world witnessed the unveiling of a new cultural gem in Manhattan's vibrant art scene: the Liu Shiming Art Gallery. Located at 15 East 40th Street, 5th Floor, the gallery's opening reception introduced "From the Beginning: Sculpture by Liu Shiming," a captivating exhibition showcasing over 35 sculptures by the celebrated modern Chinese sculptor, Liu Shiming (1926-2010).

Liu Shiming, once lauded for his contributions to monumental public art that helped define New China, embarked on a less traveled path in the 1960s. By moving to the Chinese heartland, he immersed himself in the lives of ordinary people, refining an artistic language that skillfully blends modernist flair with traditional techniques and motifs. This exhibition offers a glimpse into Liu's deep exploration of human experiences, encapsulating his life’s work and philosophy.

Fran Kaufman, the Curatorial Director of the Liu Shiming Art Gallery, highlights the intimate and tactile nature of Liu's sculptures, as seen in works like "Performer Backstage." This piece, a testament to Liu's attention to detail and empathy, depicts an opera singer in a moment of private life, showcasing Liu’s ability to capture the essence of his subjects beyond their physical appearance. To maintain the integrity of Liu's creations, many original ceramics have been carefully translated into bronze, supervised by the artist and, later, his son. This meticulous process ensures that each sculpture remains faithful to Liu's original vision, preserving his legacy for future generations.

Fran Kaufman, Curatorial Director, sharing insights on Liu Shiming’s legacy and the gallery’s development.

Following its remarkable inauguration, the Liu Shiming Art Gallery is poised to become a central hub for cultural exchange, exhibitions, and scholarly dialogue within New York's dynamic art scene. Its dedication to nurturing emerging talent and encouraging artistic discourse establishes it as a guiding light for the art world's future.

The Liu Shiming Art Gallery is set to bridge communities, celebrate diversity, and redefine contemporary art norms. With an eye on sparking innovation and facilitating global cultural exchanges, the gallery looks forward to announcing exciting new ventures and developments. As it gears up to host a variety of exhibitions, academic seminars, and events, the art community awaits with eager anticipation, ready to experience the Liu Shiming Art Gallery's significant impact on the art landscape.

Written by Chirui Cheng

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