Natural Order, Series IV
This rare ink painting by Qiu Deshu dates from 1981, early in the artist’s career. At the top of the painting is an early example of a technique he now calls “fissuring,” comparing it to cracks in the pavement. The pattern is reminiscent of how his life was broken, during the political extremism of China’s Cultural Revolution, and then later rebuilt. On the top band of the painting, Qiu uses natural uncut stones to impress red marks on the paper, emulating traditional seals. He then tears the paper apart and scatters it, building up the sculptural layers into a low-relief collage.
This painting also has a deep significance for the institutional history of the Brooklyn Museum. In 1983, the Museum held one of the earliest exhibitions in the United States of contemporary art from China, curated by a pioneer in the field, Joan Lebold Cohen. Natural Order, Series IV was one of the major works in that exhibition. As Qiu explained when he graciously donated it, “Since the painting had been displayed at Brooklyn Museum in that exhibition in 1983, I think this donation could be seen as bringing it back home.”
Ink on paper, seal marks, and paper collage
sheet: 44 5/8 x 25 in. (113.3 x 63.5 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Qiu Deshu in honor of Joan Lebold Cohen and her 1983 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum
© Qiu Deshu
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email email@example.com
and we will assist if we can.
Qiu Deshu (Chinese, born 1948). Natural Order, Series IV, 1981. Ink on paper, seal marks, and paper collage, sheet: 44 5/8 x 25 in. (113.3 x 63.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Qiu Deshu in honor of Joan Lebold Cohen and her 1983 exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, 2016.14. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2016.14_overall_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2016.14_overall_PS9.jpg., 2018
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.