Through the eyes of Stanford art and art history professor Xiaoze Xie, the shelves of a library hold so much more than paper. Books and newspapers found in libraries around the world are a primary subject of his art, which revolves around themes of history, memory, and time.
In his ongoing series of paintings based on photos of stacks of newspapers, Xie explores the layers of meaning in these everyday objects. How do we document and remember the past? What ideologies are embedded in those pages? How do we perceive the world through media? These are just some of the questions posed by his close examination of news images and text.
Xie’s highly acclaimed art, which consists primarily of paintings but also of photo installations and video, has been widely exhibited. Whether painting periodicals from Chinese libraries or depicting books in the MoMA library as a tribute to modernism, Xie creates work that engages with the outside world.
In the classroom, Xie continues that dialogue about the social and political possibilities of art. He gains insight from students’ fresh perspectives, as he encourages them to stretch their creative potential into new frontiers.