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eccentric visions

October 10, 2009

[NYTimes] Little wonder people have trouble coming to grips with traditional Chinese painting. What’s to grip? Visually, this is some of the sheerest and least emphatic art ever made: ink, water, maybe a little color; a scribble, a splash. By comparison, Corot and Watteau are meat-and-potatoes fare.

Especially elusive is the work of the scholar-artists who distanced themselves from the imperial court, with its demands for luxe and finesse. Their paintings are often tabletop small and as private as diaries, records of a world in which the single certainty is constant change.

Probably the easiest way for us to approach such art is to attach names and personalities to it, though that hasn’t always been easy to do. Most exhibitions of Chinese painting are still broad-spectrum affairs, packaged by dynasty or genre. Only fairly recently has research become focused enough to produce substantial one-man surveys. But finally we’re getting them, and “Eccentric Visions: The Worlds of Luo Ping (1733-1799)” at the Metropolitan Museum is the latest. (read review)

Exhibition website

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2009 5:59 pm

    breathtaking.

    i want to see the exhibition site, but the link doesn’t work, at least for me.

  2. October 11, 2009 6:07 pm

    my apologies i’ve fixed the link, so give it another try.

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