Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965)

Posted filed underArt History, China, Politics, Talks, Videos.

Perhaps the most original figure painter and landscapist of China’s modern period, Fu Baoshi created indelible images celebrating his homeland’s cultural heritage while living through one of the most devastating periods in Chinese history. He was eight years old in 1912 when China’s last imperial dynasty was overthrown and the Chinese Republic was established. He subsequently witnessed the divisive warlord era and Communist rebellion of the 1920s, the Japanese invasion and occupation of eastern China from 1937 to 1945, and the Communist Revolution and establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Over the last fifteen years of his life, his art reflected China’s political transformation under Mao Zedong. Throughout his career, however, Fu remained one of China’s great individualist masters. This exhibition treats Fu’s forty-year career with some seventy paintings, including many of the artist’s recognized masterpieces, drawn from the preeminent holdings of China’s Nanjing Museum. The exhibition, augmented by superb works from a New York private collection, is the most comprehensive treatment of the artist’s oeuvre ever presented outside of Asia.

Trained in both China and Japan at a time when arts education stressed the need for the modernization of indigenous traditions through the study of Western methods, Fu developed a new style incorporating foreign styles and techniques, and began creating boldly individualistic and strongly nationalistic work. Noting that Chinese painting had evolved toward too great a dependency on monochromatic, calligraphic brushwork, Fu sought to revive earlier traditions of realistic description that made greater use of color and ink wash. He also stressed the need for an artist to be emotionally and physically present in his art. To achieve this end, Fu often painted while inebriated. He also sought spontaneity through a spattered-ink method of painting—a kind of “action art” that parallels the working methods of some of the Abstract Expressionists.”

Read more at Met Museum

- Wikipedia on Fu Baoshi

Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965)

Discover how Fu Baoshi–perhaps the greatest landscape and figure painter of China’s modern period–integrated Western and traditional Asian artistic influences to create a new style that was both unmistakably Chinese and undeniably modern.

Expanding Tradition and Sino-Japanese Confluences in the Art of Fu Baoshi: Aida Yuen Wong, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Chair of East Asian Studies, Brandeis University

Learn more about Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution Fu Baoshi (1904–1965)

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nanjing Museum.

- Another excellent talk from the Met and there are soooo many of them by now. If you’re into this sort of thing, there are tons of videos over here. We should do a “best of” some time….. Hm, A Conversation on Africa’s Heritage sounds pretty interesting too… There is so much great stuff on those Interwebs….!

A Conversation on Africa’s Heritage

Join Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in conversation with historian Joseph Miller and journalist Helene Cooper for an afternoon of conversation on the importance of oral narratives as a major source of literary inspiration and historical understanding of Africa’s past. Moderated by Curator Alisa LaGamma.

Learn more about Heroic Africans: Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures

The exhibition is made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ceil & Michael E. Pulitzer Foundation, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The exhibition catalogue is made possible by The MCS Endowment Fund.