Eskenazi Hall/Herron School of Art and Design, 735 West New York Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46202
Portrait of History is a tall, narrow bronze sculpture measuring 100 x 24 x 30 in. Its surface is uneven, imitating mud or gauze wrappings. Portrait of History is a highly simplified humanoid sculpture. The lower portion of the sculpture starts out as a cylindrical shape that tapers up to a relatively consistent diameter. Slightly more than halfway up the sculpture are two abstracted wing-like appendages jutting out of the proper right and proper left of the piece. The cylindrical shape continues up from the “wings” into an abstract bulbous head that is arched slightly forward. The sculpture is similar in shape and texture to other sculptures in bronze and beech wood by the Zhou brothers.
Portrait of History, a public sculpture by Chinese-American artists the Zhou Brothers, is located on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, which is near downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The sculpture is located at the Blackford Street entrance to the Herron School of Art and Design. This piece is one of four public artworks on loan from the Indianapolis Museum of Art to IUPUI. The artworks were moved to the campus on March 22, 2009. Portrait of History is a bronze sculpture measuring 100 x 24 x 30 in and is mounted on an oval cement base.
Portrait of History was a gift to the Indianapolis Museum of Art from Dr. and Mrs. Eugene Van Hove. It was given in memory of their son, Jeffrey Van Hove, in 2001. This piece shares its name with a series of four oil on paper paintings by the Zhou Brothers that were painted in 1975; these paintings are much less abstract than the Zhou Brothers’ sculptural work and show heavily texturized images of traditional Asian portraits
The Zhou Brothers, Shan Zuo and Da Huang Zhou, were born in China in 1952 and 1957 respectively. They have been living in Chicago since 1986. Their work attempts to capture an image of the collective unconscious beyond cultural boundaries, inspired by a combination of Eastern and Western philosophy, literature, myth and history. Shan Zuo and Da Huang Zhou received a BFA in drama and painting at the University of Shanghai in 1982 and received an MFA from the National Academy for Arts and Crafts in Beijing in 1984. In 1986 the Zhou brothers came to a hard realization that they would not be able to progress artistically if they stayed in China. After an invitation to exhibit in Chicago, Illinois, the brothers set up a permanent studio there.
Based out of Chicago, the brothers exhibit their work nationally and internationally. Their work has been collected by private and public institutions. In 2004 a retrospective exhibition “Zhou Brothers: 30 Years of Collaboration” was organized in Chicago. The retrospective was divided into three major periods of the brothers’ life: China (1973–1985), America (1986–1993) and Europe and America (1994–2003) The brothers have exhibited throughout the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, Japan, France, Netherlands and Hungary.
Prior to moving to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Portrait of History was privately owned. Portrait of History was located on the south east grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art near the Better than New House.
Medium type: Bronze
Date created: 1997