Ancient Chinese tradition and global contemporary art converge in "Flow: Ink Innovators" at Ethan Cohen New York from March 7th through April 6th, 2014. Dramatic modern innovations mix with traditional techniques in this exhibition, pairing legendary Chinese contemporary artists with international ink painters in a collective exploration of the enduring urgency of ink.
Presented in view of awakened international interest in contemporary Chinese ink painting, this exhibition showcases key intersections of the modern genre: brush and surface, figurative and abstract, tradition and modernity. “Flow: Ink Innovators” coincides with the current “Ink Art” exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, expanding the range of ink artists represented and extending the scope of global ink today.
Ethan Cohen New York juxtaposes works by historic Abstract Expressionists of equal stature Franz Kline (1910-1962) and C.C. Wang (1907-2003): two artists from different backgrounds with strikingly similar styles. Kline’s free-form ink work on a phone book page appears alongside a series of masterpieces on phone book pages by Wang, permitting viewers to see the progress of art in a fundamentally Chinese medium in tandem with its non-Chinese exponents, contemporary artists and modern masters.
Further masterpieces by Xu Bing, Qiu Zhijie and Gu Wenda (artists featured in the MET museum exhibition) display radical innovations in calligraphy, while Qin Feng’s bold large-scale abstracts represent contemporaneity while remaining rooted in 4000 years of Chinese tradition. Wang Mansheng applies contemporary techniques to landscapes and images of ancient China. 1970s/80s avant-garde ink artist Qiu Deshu’s method of “scratching” and “cracking” paper in a collage-like separation alludes to organic equilibrium and simplicity in a new global idiom. Huang Yan, a truly global ink innovator, uses photography to capture traditional ink landscapes, which he paints onto the human body, blending ink painting and performance. Artists Mark Tobey and Lan Zhenghui will also be exhibited.
"Flow: Ink Innovators" will continue at Ethan Cohen KuBe in Beacon, NY, showcasing works by Qin Feng and Huang Yan, as well as Qiu Zhijie, Wei Ligang, Wang Dongling, Wang Keping, Liu Tianwei, Zhang Zhaohui, Yuan Yunsheng, Li Hou and Ma Desheng.