Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cantor Arts Center exhibits 4 modern Chinese master painters

Cantor Arts Center is staging the first-ever U.S. exhibition of 4 'national treasures' of 20th-century China who survived a variety of wars, revolutions and hazards of the time. The four Chinese ink painters featured in the Cantor Arts Center's exhibition endured "persecution, insult and neglect to redefine and revivify an ancient art form." This looks like one to catch if you can.

These men were neither traditionalist nor modernist. Either direction invited censure and worse while they tried to redefine Chinese art for the modern era by incorporating realism within a complex network of political and cultural currents. The question was how do you maintain the best of an art form that's a centuries-old national heritage especially when people might kill you for it if you can't negotiate the tumultuous upheavals of the time. They also had to figure out how to respond to the influence and encounters with European and American influences and means to innovate their craft.

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