Inspired by anecdotes, legends, and imaginary perceptions of distant or spiritual realms, Chinese painters portrayed a wide array of figures—eccentric, whimsical, and bizarre. This installation presents a small sampling of such visual imagery. The most subdued figures represent historical recluses of the 3rd century A.D., whose lifestyle exemplified an ideal existence of pleasurable detachment from society. Others are more fanciful—Buddhist disciples that appear only quasi-religious as they travel through a supernatural landscape en route to an immortal realm; caricatured depictions of foreign envoys to the Chinese court; and impish ghosts pursuing ordinary activities in a dark and damp underworld.
Together, these paintings exhibit distinctive styles of brushwork, from fine outline to broad “ax-cut” strokes and washes of ink—some carefully graded and others that appear almost slapdash when applied to pre-soaked paper.
Artist unknown; spurious signature of Su Liupeng. Barbarian Envoys Presenting Tribute (detail), Qing dynasty (1644–1911), c. 1850/1900. Gift of Charles Haffner III.
21 hours 43 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Chicago Splash previews Moholy-Nagy: Future Present, a retrospective on the Bauhaus designer who also made his mark in Chicago—opening at the Art Institute October 2.
1 day 5 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SUNDAY—Design Episodes: The Modern Chair
Explore the evolution of the modern chair in the 20th century with iconic examples from makers like Charles and Ray Eames, Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, and Harry Bertoia, among others.
THE MODERN CHAIR—http://bit.ly/2dD4Xy0
1 day 20 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—Supernatural Shakespeare
While Shakespeare’s title characters might have the most name recognition, the Bard’s meddling witches and mischievous faerie folk often steal the show. See this focused installation before it closes October 10.