Chinese Art Collection of Andrew Rayburn and Heather Guess
Curated by Barbara Pollack
Opening October 3 | 6-8pm
On view through October 6
WHITEBOX Art Center presents Outside In, a selection of works from the collection of Cleveland collectors Andrew Rayburn and Heather Guess. Assembled since 2004, this array of Chinese artists spans two generations from those who emerged in the 1990s, including Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo Qiang and Lin Tianmiao, to the youngest artists now showing in China, such as Chi Peng, Mi Mai, Chen Wei and Liu Di. This select exhibition offers a comparison between those two groups of artists, underscoring how an older generation focused on the Cultural Revolution and other historic material while the younger generation looks to the future in ways that transcend a Chinese identity. The exhibition reflects how this collecting couple moved from an outsider’s perspective on Chinese art to a more intimate place inside the art circles of Beijing and Shanghai.
Andrew Rayburn and Heather Guess reside in both New York and Cleveland and are active supporters of the Cleveland and New York arts community. In 2005, they started the Human Fund, a non-profit that funds arts education programming in the Cleveland Public Schools. Rayburn is the principal of Big Game Capital, a private investment firm, that has holdings in sports, entertainment, and music. Guess is an exhibiting artist working in photography and video, and also holds a master’s degree from Christie’s Education in New York. Guess serves on the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and they both serve on the leadership board of the Art and Medicine Institute for the Cleveland Clinic.
Their interest in Chinese contemporary art began over a decade ago when they realized that art might be the best way of understanding China’s ascendency as a superpower. They began with a few leading artists such as Zhang Xiaogang and Wang Guangyi, whom they purchased at galleries and at auctions in New York. In 2010, Guess met leading Chinese art critic Barbara Pollack and accompanied her on a trip to Beijing and Shanghai to visit the artists in person. Since then, Guess returned to China with Pollack to be introduced to artists of the younger generation. This exhibition reflects the way the collection has evolved and grown from those trips.
A full color catalogue with essays by Pollack and Guess will accompany the exhibition. It provides a more extensive view of this personal and historic collection.
LINK TO PRESS FEATURE IN MONARCH DAILY