8/31/2012 - 12/16/2012
Organizing institution: Carleton College Department of Art and Art History
The Chinese art of ink painting is an ancient and continuously practiced tradition transmitted and learned in part through the study of the works of past masters. This practice formed the fundamental basis for learning the art of painting in China until the twentieth century. At the same time, Chinese painters were aware of the potentially limiting aspects of imitating the ancient masters too closely. As a result, they self-consciously evoked past masters' styles while simultaneously working to transform and even subvert them.
This exhibition of Chinese ink paintings from the The Fralin Museum of Art and Lijin Collections examines the influence of this honored tradition on later artists and how they sought to balance reverence for the art of old masters with their own impulses for artistic expression. Ancient Masters explores this tension through an investigation of style, subject matter, and inscriptions on paintings from the early modern period up until the present, while examining the social and historical context of their production. The exhibition demonstrates the rich variety of ink painting in China over many centuries and the continuing relevance of tradition to Chinese artists today.
Curated by Kathleen M. Ryor, Guest Curator Exhibition catalogue by Kathleen M. Ryor