Must-See Summer Art Exhibitions, Part Two

Continued from our previous list, this latest batch of art exhibitions combines both ancient and modern perspectives, from a celebration of the 100th anniversary of artist Xie Zhiliu’s birthday to the stunning ballpoint creations of Il Lee. Title: “Chinese Art: A Seattle PerspectiveLocation: Seattle Art Museum (Seattle, WA) Description: This latest exhibit from the Seattle Art Museum is a survey of ancient Chinese artwork with three areas of focus: jades and celadons (a form of pottery famous for its luminous green glaze), painting and calligraphy, and the architecture of Chinese tiles. The museum’s Chinese art collection was first put together by the founding director of the institution, Dr. Richard Fuller, and is renowned for the wide range of works, which derive from every dynastic period within Chinese history. Josh Yiu, the Foster Foundation Associate Curator of Chinese Art, says the exhibit “is not only a survey of the arts of China but also a chronicle of Seattle’s shifting interest in Chinese art.”

Title: “New Vision: Ballpoint Drawings by Il LeeLocation: The Crow Collection of Asian Art (Dallas, TX) Description: The ballpoint pen may not be as popular an artistic medium as paint, but for Il Lee, it has been a lifelong endeavor. For over three decades, Lee has experimented with different aspects of the ballpoint pen, playing with lines and angles to create huge works of art on surprisingly large canvasses. Lee is a Korean artist whose minimalist style and unique medium has won him critical acclaim in recent years. This exhibition, featuring several of Lee’s ballpoint works on both paper and canvas, is organized in partnership with Art Projects International.

Title: Mastering the Art of Chinese Painting: Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997)” Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY) Description: Xie Zhiliu, one of modern China’s foremost painters and calligraphers, broke free of his traditional art education to create a personal style that relied on both “careful imitation” and “creative adaptation.” This installation features a thematic organization of Xie’s works, from his early sketches of Buddhist figurines to his studies of flowers, fruit and landscapes. This illuminating retrospective on Xie’s legacy and impact on modern-day Chinese art brings together 150 works, including manuscripts, seals and calligraphic pieces.

Title: “Japan in Blue and WhiteLocation: Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena, CA) Description: “A Spring Scene,” a woodblock print that dates back to the 19th century, employs a distinctive blue and white pairing that is today considered exclusively Japanese. Unknown to most people, the three shades of blue used in Japanese pictures originally served a practical purpose. Indigo blue was an effective mosquito repellent, Prussian blue did not easily fade and cobalt blue was a dependable underglaze ceramic pigment. This exhibition, guest-curated by Meher McArthur, explores the evolution of blue and white pigments in Japanese ceramics, prints and textiles.

Photo courtesy of Pacific Asia Museum: A Spring Scene–Woman Folding Robe, Japan, 19th century, Kikugawa Eizan, woodblock print on paper, Pacific Asia Museum Collection. Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Lowrie in memory of Mr. Robert T. Lowrie, 1978.16.92