Jia Juanli

February 7, 2010By Brian ChildsArchive

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ParisUpdate-JiaJuanli

Photo: Princewel Eklu

The Chinese artist Jia Juanli has lived in Paris for the last 19 years, but her mind is decidedly elsewhere. An exhibition of her work, “A Painted Silence,” at the Chinese Cultural Center (1, bd de la Tour Maubourg, 75007 Paris, through Oct. 15), is set in a dream world invoking the lives of imperial women in their gardens and palaces. They dance amid a fluttering of herons or stand as willowy as orchid flowers. They fan themselves and comb their hair, but, above all, they dream. Her art is a pure fusion of Chinese classicism and French Impressionism, and her pallet and composition owe much to Bonnard, but where Bonnard’s work sometimes betrays an underlying anguish, the prevailing emotion in Jia’s work is a sort of peaceful melancholy. Brian Childs

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