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Opening Reception: Walasse Ting: Parrot Jungle
November 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Walasse Ting: Parrot Jungle will be a comprehensive exhibition made to re-introduce audiences to the extraordinary world of artist Walasse Ting (b. 1928, Wuxi, China; d.2010, New York NY). Ting was one of the most radical and independent figures of his time, bridging the worlds of ancient Chinese aesthetics, the European avant-garde and the American Pop Art multiverse.
While Ting’s place within the art historic canon is recognized due to artist’s book 1¢ Life (1964), NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will be the first American institution to go beyond this legacy and acknowledge Ting’s mastery within a monographic museum show.
This exhibition will provide viewers the opportunity to immerse themselves in Ting’s neon-soaked visions of nubile women, flora, fauna, and an endless menagerie of cats, parrots and hibiscus. Simultaneously, the show will establish a biographic narrative, in which viewers will learn about the diasporic life of Ting; whose transnational identity left him without the typical ambassadorship countries engage in to display their creative wealth.
Parrot Jungle will make South Florida Ting’s honorary home; one perfectly fitting given the artist’s love of the region. Ting and his family came to South Florida frequently to visit his in-laws, who were among the influx of Jewish residents who relocated here in the fifties and sixties. This exhibition will highlight how Ting’s signature motifs were inspired by these trips, where he discovered and fell in love with the wildlife park Parrot Jungle, a landmark he documented in hundreds of photographs and countless on-site drawings.
This exhibition is in dialogue with the Museum’s Cobra Collection, which includes essential works by Ting and is the largest holding of artworks created by affiliates of the post-war movement known as CoBrA (an acronym for the founding artists’ native cities:
Copenhagen – Brussels – Amsterdam) within the United States. The Cobra artists stood for freedom, spontaneity, collaboration, interdisciplinary practice and ceaseless experimentation. These values resonated profoundly with Walasse Ting upon his arrival to Paris in 1953, leading him to establish lifelong friendships with key Cobra figures Pierre Alechinsky (b.1927, Brussels, Belgium; lives and works in Bougival, France), Karel Appel (b. 1921, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; d. 2006, Zurich, Switzerland) and Asger Jorn (b.1914, Jutland, Denmark; d. 1973, Aarhaus, Denmark). In the spirit of Cobra and our Museum’s ethos, this exhibition will champion Walasse Ting as a citizen of the world, one who made many places, including South Florida, his honorary home, and created a unique oeuvre that was passionately enriched by all he encountered.
This exhibition is curated by the Museum’s Bryant Taylor Curator, Ariella Wolens. It will be accompanied by a full-color, hard bound monograph published by Skira, edited and with an essay by Wolens and additional text by Pierre Alechinsky, Bonnie Clearwater, Xiao (Amanda) Ju, and Ting’s daughter Mia Ting.
Walasse Ting: Parrot Jungle is sponsored by those who wish to remain anonymous, Stephen & Joan Marks, Barron Family Foundation, Imperfect Family Foundation, Funding Arts Broward, Inc., Sam Francis Foundation in honor of Francis’ 100th Birthday, Marlène Brody, Marion Lefebre & Robert S. Pynoos, David Stonehill & Caroline Cruise, Wenise Wong & Eric Barron.
Major support for exhibitions and programs at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is provided by the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation Endowment, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Wege Foundation, Community Foundation of Broward, Lillian S. Wells Foundation, the Broward County Cultural Division, the Cultural Council, the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, the State of Florida through the Division of Arts and Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts, Spirit Charitable Foundation, Fosco Family Foundation, the Moss Foundation. NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale is accredited by the American Association of Museums.