Art In America

“Oil and Water: Reinterpreting Ink”

at Museum of Chinese in America,
215 Centre St.

Contemporary Chinese ink art, once viewed in the West as an antiquarian pastime, is now the subject of intense debate. Is the form essential to preserving Chinese identity? Does it provide Western viewers an opportunity—or even create an obligation—to plumb the otherness of a foreign culture? Has the ink aesthetic been co-opted by the Party? The three veteran painters in this show seek a melding, a middle way. Qiu Deshu uses torn, ink-soaked paper strips to create dark "fissured" shapes that reflect social and psychological stresses. With larger appliqués and blocks of painted color, Wei Jia explores contrasting concepts of compositional space, East and West. Zhang Hongtu combines traditional Chinese motifs with once-radical modernist oil techniques to suggest the possibility of a global synthesis.

 

More from the Lookout

“Respectability Politics”

at Outlet,
through Oct. 2
253 Wilson Avenue, Brooklyn

Caitlin Keogh

at Bortolami,
through Oct. 29
520 West 20th Street

Ajay Kurian

at 47 Canal,
through Oct. 16
291 Grand Street, 2nd Floor

McDermott & McGough

at James Fuentes,
through Oct. 23
55 Delancey Street

Heather Guertin

at Brennan & Griffin,
through Oct. 9
122 Norfolk Street

Xu Zhen

at James Cohan,
through Oct. 8
533 West 26th Street

Joan Semmel

at Alexander Gray Associates,
through Oct. 15
510 West 26th Street

Closing

Taryn Simon

at Park Avenue Armory,
through Sept. 25
643 Park Avenue

Closing

The Keeper

at the New Museum,
through Sept. 25
235 Bowery

Bruce Conner

at the Museum of Modern Art,
through Oct. 2
11 West 53rd Street

Arlene Shechet

at Frick Collection,
through Apr. 2
1 East 70th Street

Submit your e-mail to receive insider information from the art world every week.