Learning from the Literati 2
September 6th, 2011 - October 17th, 2011
Traditional culture often holds an esteemed position in the minds of many artists, and the epitome of that culture is the literati painter. These men set themselves apart from court painters of the time, by bringing a sense of personal expression into their depictions of the landscape. They were renaissance men well versed in law, poetry, calligraphy and philosophies such as Daoism and Confucianism.
Many played roles as leaders and moral arbiters in their communities, but in general they are known for their hermit-like behavior – their tendency to turn away from the evils of society and head to the mountains where they would lose themselves in thought and art.
In “Learning from the Literati,” a group of artists examine what it means to be a literati and explore the legacy of the literati in contemporary society. Can we return to this time of classical beauty and grace or is this ideal a figment of the modern imagination?