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Course & Subject Guides

Gao Archive 1989 China/Avant-Garde Exhibition: Reflections: More about Gao Minglu

This library guide is an overview of the exhibit, "1989 China/Avant-Garde Exhibition: Reflections," a selection of rare archive held by Professor Gao Minglu of the Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA) at University of Pittsburgh.

As an archivist

In addition to his distinguished academic achievements, Gao Minglu witnessed and experienced major historical events of Chinese contemporary art and established a wide range of professional networks with artists, institutes, groups, museums, publishing houses, etc. Over three decades Gao has been collecting incredible archival materials on Chinese contemporary art that can be found nowhere in the world. These unique primary materials include many formats, such as manuscripts, posters, correspondence, paintings, exhibit catalogs as well as slides, videos, recordings, etc.

One of Gao archive studio in Beijing, China.


As a scholar

Dr. Gao Minglu is currently a Research Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA) at University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), and Professor and Head of Fine Arts Department at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, as well as the director of the contemporary institute at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts. Dr. Gao Minglu is one of the most prominent and leading scholars in Chinese contemporary art field.

Gao Minglu worked as a senior editor of Meishu (Art Monthly, Beijing) from 1984-1991. He was a visiting scholar invited by The Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China (CSCPRC) of American Scientific Academy, and Ohio State University in 1991, and then he earned his Ph.D at Harvard University. Gao taught in State University of New York at Buffalo from 2000 to 2005, and since 2005 he moved to University of Pittsburgh. 

Gao Minglu has curated a number of important exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art, including the China/Avant-Garde Exhibition (Beijing, 1989), Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998, New York), Chinese Maximalism (2003 Beijing and SUNY 2003), The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art (2005 Beijing and Albright Knox), The No Name (2006 Beijing), Yipai: Thirty-year of Chinese Abstract Art (2008 Span and Beijing), and Yi Pai: Rethinking of the Century (Beijing, 2009), etc.

A list of Gao’s major publications is available at



As an Artist

The cover of Lonely Horizon Exhibition catalogue