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Brush and Ink

The Chinese Art of Writing

September 2, 2006–January 21, 2007

In China, calligraphy, "the art of writing," is regarded as the quintessential visual art, ranking above painting as the most important vehicle for individual expression. As such, calligraphy may be appreciated in much the same way as some abstract art—by following the artist's every gesture, reexperiencing the kinesthetic action of creation as preserved in the inked lines. This installation traces the 1,600-year history of brush writing from its genesis as a fine art in the fourth century A.D., through successive peaks of individual innovation, to its recent transformation from a universal mark of scholarly status into a form of abstract art. It features more than seventy works, with examples from the permanent collection importantly augmented by select works from private collections.