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

Florine Stettheimer

at the Jewish Museum,
through Sept. 24
1109 5th Avenue

“Body, Self, Society: Chinese Performance Photography of the 1990s”

at the Walther Collection Project Space,
through Aug. 19
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718

Roni Horn

at Hauser & Wirth,
through Jul. 29
548 West 22nd Street

Henri Cartier-Bresson

at the Rubin Museum of Art,
through Sept. 4
150 West 17th Street

Lygia Pape

at the Met Breuer,
through Jul. 23
945 Madison Avenue

Georgia O’Keeffe

at Brooklyn Museum,
through Jul. 23
200 Eastern Parkway

“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
9-01 33rd Road, Long Island City

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