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The Snite Museum of Art acquires major work by sculptor Clement Meadmore (American, born Australia 1929-2005)

Author: Gina Costa


There is little doubt that Modern and Contemporary sculpture play a significant role in the collection, and by extension, the persona of the Snite Museum of Art. The collections of both Ivan Meštrović and George Rickey have played definitive roles.   Against this backdrop, the Museum is pleased to announce the gift of a major sculpture by Clement Meadmore – one of the most compelling and eagerly sought public sculptors of the second half of the 20th century.


Born in Melbourne, Australia, and educated at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Meadmore began making welded sculptures in the 1950s. He moved to New York City in 1963 to more closely experience the vanguard of Contemporary art.  Deeply moved by both Minimalism and its forerunning antithesis, Abstract Expressionism, he forged a career as one of the most distinguished abstract sculptors of his generation.

Meadmore is most widely celebrated for his bold statements based on a vocabulary of geometry with a strong emphasis on crisp linear contours and broad planes. Whether working in aluminum, steel, or bronze, he most frequently finished his sculptures with a black patina. For all of the aforementioned, he can be seen in the ambiance of Minimalism. However, his introduction of movement and frequent use of curved forms celebrate his affection for the visual energy of Abstract Expressionism.

Upbeat, 1984, coveys the buoyancy of the upright composition of Meadmore’s iconic style. The work and title also convey the sculptor’s life-long interest in music, particularly jazz.  Upbeat is a gift of the Clement Meadmore Foundation.  It will be placed in the Museum courtyard to be a point of dialogue with other major outdoor sculptures in the collection.


“The Museum is deeply grateful for this exceptional gift which has been eagerly placed and is already engaging audiences at the heart of our sculpture courtyard,” shares Director, Dr. Joseph Antenucci Becherer. “Meadmore’s iconic style is masterfully available in this work and is at once both lyrical and minimalist.”

Meadmore0008 Copy


Clement Meadmore (American, born Australia. 1929-2005)

Upbeat, 1984

Painted aluminum, Artist’s Proof

9’10” x 6’3” x 6’6”

Gift of the Clement Meadmore Foundation

Meadmore Acquisition Final

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Chao Shao-an: Moments between Worlds

Author: Gina Costa

Chao Shao-an: Moments between Worlds

February 4 - June 20, 2020

NOTRE DAME, IN.  Chao Shao-an (趙少昂, 1905-1998) lived a momentous life vividly expressed through brush and ink over a nearly eighty-year career as an artist.  This intimate exhibition of seventeen works are drawn from the collection of Chao Shao-an’s family and feature detailed yet poetic images of the natural world for which the artist developed an international reputation.  These album leaf paintings highlight Chao Shao-an’s remarkable ability to capture the essence of subtle moments in nature through vibrant brushwork and coloration.

The artist came of age in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou in the early years following the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty. During this period of rapid change, Chao began his first apprenticeship in ink painting under one of the three masters of the Lingnan School of painting -- famous for creatively blending international painting methods and materials onto a foundation of traditional Chinese technique. Chao Shao-an took over responsibility for the Lingnan School and began his career as an award-winning artist that brought recognition to the Lingnan style across the globe.

Through the unrest of the Japanese occupation of China during World War II and the subsequent civil war, Chao developed a style that emphasized the traditional category of bird-and-flower painting and the close study of nature. From the 1930s-1960s, Chao Shao-an traveled around the world for solo and group exhibitions across Asia, Europe, and the United States. During that time, he settled permanently in Hong Kong in 1948 and established the Lingnan Art Studio in his residence. There, he mentored generations of students in the Lingnan method and ensured its place as one of the most influential styles of twentieth century Chinese ink painting.

“In a remarkable continuation of Chao’s international legacy, two generations of his descendants have attended the University of Notre Dame and have made this distinguished exhibition a possibility” offers Director Joseph Antenucci Becherer. The exhibition is curated by Fletcher Coleman from the Department of Art, Art History and Design and made possible through the partnership of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.


Image credit: Chao Shao-an, Chinese, 1905 - 1998

Pomegrante: Seeds of an Open Pomegranate

Ink and pigment on paper

Courtesy of the Artist’s family.

Chao Shao An

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