The Wall Street Journal Reviews of the Wang Hui Exhibition of Chinese Landscape Painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art:
As the eye moves across, so many genres of art come simultaneously to mind: narrative battle scenes, Canaletto’s quadrants, Chinese wall maps, Van Gogh’s striations, Cézanne’s geometric hills, the natural dyes and telescoped sweep of tapestry chronicles. Some cross-cultural influences doubtless occurred. Figurative Persian carpets and Silk Road miniatures, each modeled on the other, certainly reached China before the first millennium. Conversely, Van Gogh and Cézanne’s debt to Far Eastern influences is well-enough known.
Among the catalog’s densely informative and scholarly essays, there’s a fascinating passage on how, from Cézanne to abstraction, Chinese styles influenced Western art down to the present, and indeed how many of the former’s aesthetic struggles prefigured our own. The Chinese, as ever, had been there already.
In Hong Kong’s recent sales, Chinese Classical Painting stood tall amid the carnage created in the art market by the credit collapse. It’s clearly a category worth paying attention to.
An Encounter with the Sublime (The Wall Street Journal)