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San Francisco

Asian Art Museum

Exhibition Detail
The Carved Brush: Calligraphy, Painting, and Seal Carving by Qi Baishi (1863-1957)
200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102


October 29th, 2013 - July 13th
 
Iron-crutch Li, Qi BaishiQi Baishi, Iron-crutch Li,
Undated, Fan mounted as hanging scroll; ink and color on sized paper. Lender: Michael Gallis
© Courtesy of Asian Art Museum
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WEBSITE:  
http://www.asianart.org/
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Union Square/Civic Center
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415.581.3500
OPEN HOURS:  
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 10-5; Thu (Jan-Oct) 10-9; Thu (Nov-Dec) 10-5; closed Mon
TAGS:  
mixed-media, traditional, realism, modern, landscape, Chinese Art, asian art, Asian Artist
COST:  
Free with museum admission
> DESCRIPTION

The Carved Brush showcases works by acclaimed Chinese artist Qi Baish. Born into a poor farming family and coming of age during China’s century of civil strife, Baishi became the most widely recognized Chinese artist of his time. His distinctly modern art broke through class and cultural barriers through use of expressive “carved” brushwork. Qi Baishi’s art is the ideal gateway through which art lovers of any class or culture can learn about the millennia-old tradition of Chinese brush painting.

Born into a poor farming family and coming of age during China’s century of civil strife, Qi Baishi rose to become one of the most widely recognized Chinese artists of his time. His distinctly modern art broke through class and cultural barriers through use of expressive “carved” brushwork, juxtaposition of vibrant colors against deep and rich ink tones, economy in form and composition, and selection of emotionally resonant subject matter. He is credited with transforming the brush art of China’s educated elite into a more universal art form, appreciated by people of all social backgrounds. Qi Baishi’s paintings featured rugged, expressive brushwork based on his practice of the related arts of brush-written calligraphy and seal carving—the art of carving characters in stone. Can you spot the relation between his calligraphy and seal carving, and the “carved” brushwork in his paintings?

Much as a poet strives to communicate deep meaning with few words, Qi Baishi simplified his rendering of his subjects to a minimum number of brush touches. In this way, he integrated representational elements with abstraction in an attempt to capture the spiritual essence of his subjects.


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