Some say it's the Year of the Rooster, but in my book, it's year of the Han. There has been a succession of shows highlighting this dynasty, which ruled from 206 B.C. to 220 AD. It so consolidated a sense of identity that ethnic Chinese today still identify as "Han." In New York alone, there … Continue reading Kings dreaming of immortality
The Japanese galleries at the Met are like a bride -- they always have something old, something new, and no doubt if you look hard enough you'll spot something blue. This summer, bamboo art is the overarching theme, starting with "The Gate," an amazing construct that artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV created for the entrance to … Continue reading Bamboo art in the Met’s Japanese galleries
In my review of the Dallas Museum of Art's installation of the Keir Collection of Islamic Art, I mention the variety in ceramics but did not have the room to go into detail. The very least I can do is give some visuals to support that contention.
Jade amulets, bronze vessels, dancing figures, accessories -- we've come to expect that from ancient tombs in China. But sex aides and toilets? That was a first for me, though I will admit not the most fascinating part of the Asian Art Museum's "Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China's Han Dynasty" (you can read my review … Continue reading Peeking at Life through Death
Some readers complained that the review of "Art in a TIme of Chaos," which is on view at the China Institute Gallery in NY through March 19, 2017, lacked photographs. It is true that the works, dating from the 3rd to 6th centuries, are so varied it would have been great to have more images. … Continue reading Images from ‘Art in a Time of Chaos’
On the heels of the devastating earthquake in Italy's Amatrice and surrounding area, another shook parts of Myanmar, damaging temples in Mrauk U, Bagan and other areas. Here is a taste of what is imperiled, from photos I took on a trip in 2012 in Mrauk U and in Bagan.
It's a sunny afternoon in Brooklyn with a lovely, cool breeze. The windows are open, the laptop fired up, books and notes spread around me, and I'm all set to write... but, outside, cars, trucks and fire engines keep blasting their horns and instead of coherent thoughts taking shape, this image fills my mind. And … Continue reading Demons of distraction
When the Philadelphia Museum of Art made sketchbooks available to visitors going through 'Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano' last year, the exercise proved very popular. Visitors paused before floral compositions on gilded screens and paintings of Mt. Fuji, drawing what they saw. Some tore out the sheets and pocketed them; others left their sketches in … Continue reading Drawing to See
Such a treat to spend a few hours at the Met in the company of An Ho going through its Masterpieces of Chinese Painting show. In the tradition of scholar artists, her teacher, Pu Ru, steeped her in calligraphy, philosophy and literature, laying the foundations for her work as a painter. At 87, An Ho's eye is as keen … Continue reading A wonderful reunion at the Met
The work of two artists in particular stopped me in my tracks at "Global/Local 1960–2015: Six Artists from Iran." The works are among the most recent in the show and, while they could not be more different, they are equally haunting. Without burdening them with words, here are some snapshots to entice you to go … Continue reading Wonderful show at Grey Gallery