"A Tradition Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings"


  • Ongoing: until Sunday, May 24, 2009
  • Sunday: 12:00pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00am
  • Wednesday: 10:00am
  • Thursday: 10:00am
  • Friday: 10:00am
  • Saturday: 10:00am
  • Where: Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence
  • Cost: Free
  • Age limit: All ages

Chinese contemporary art is the product of dichotomies: old vs. new, traditional vs. modern, east vs. west, the individual vs. the state. Dr. Chu-tsing Li, Judith Harris Murphy Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History at KU, was one of the earliest art historians to establish modern and contemporary Chinese art as a field of study, and has amassed a collection that includes many paintings not previously exhibited in the West. His collection is among the most comprehensive in this hemisphere, and it affords viewers an unusual opportunity to compare the styles, schools, and trends that arose during a period of fermentation and upheaval in Asia and elsewhere. A Tradition Redefined is a rare look at how legacy, experimentation, and the weight of the prevailing social order can influence artistic directions.Drawn entirely from Dr. Li’s collection, this traveling exhibition is the first to survey Chinese ink paintings created during the second half of the 20th century. A Tradition Redefined is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and the Harvard University Art Museums. The Spencer Museum of Art venue is generously supported by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. All three of the exhibition’s curators did their graduate work in Chinese painting at the University of Kansas, studying with Dr. Li.A Tradition Redefined presents more than 60 works by artists active in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and abroad. The works effectively convey some of the artistic tensions brought about by the overwhelming changes in Chinese culture from 1950-2000, providing a unique glimpse of modern and contemporary Chinese art. In examining this five-decade period, the exhibition demonstrates the dramatic evolution of Chinese ink painting in recent times and lays a foundation for understanding the international-style work that is being created in China today. In addition, the exhibition illustrates parallel lines of development in different geographical areas by artists active in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and abroad, thereby bringing to light differences in style and technique from one area to another.

This event was posted Feb. 17, 2009 and last updated Sept. 16, 2014


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