Art of Caligraphy Examined in Big Apple

Art Business News, November 2000 | Go to article overview

Art of Caligraphy Examined in Big Apple


In China, calligraphy, or the `art of writing,' is considered to be the ultimate visual art and ranks above painting as the most important vehicle for individual expression. The evolution of this art form from the fourth century to the present is the focus of a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art called "The Embodied Image: Chinese Calligraphy from the John B. Elliott Collection," on view through Jan. 7, 2001. According to the Met, the exhibit represents the most comprehensive exhibit of its kind ever assembled in the West, with 120 works drawn from two principal U.S. collections--the John B. EIliott Collection at The Art Museum, Princeton University and the Met's John M. Crawford Jr. Collection.

"The Embodied Image" begins with a brief review of the evolution of the principal script types--from the first writings engraved on "oracle bones" around the 14th century B.C. to the perfection of standard script during the seventh century A.D. It includes an in-depth survey of the varied writing styles of the fourth-century"calligraphic sage," Wang Xizhi, along with the varied personal interpretations of these script types from the 11th to the 20th century. …

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