This is the first exhibition to explore the theme of reclusion in Chinese painting and calligraphy within the broader context of political and social changes during the seventeenth century, a time of rich cultural expression and dramatic political change. The rise of major schools of regional painting as well as the trauma of the Ming dynasty’s collapse in 1644 and the Manchu Qing conquest provided an extraordinary context for the creation of historically conscious, often emotionally charged and deeply personal paintings and works of calligraphy. These images, however varied, share an overarching theme of reclusion, a concept of withdrawal and disengagement that has deep and significant roots in China, and which remains relevant in contemporary Chinese art and culture. The exhibition comprises works from public and private collections in the United States and Asia.
Organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.