John and Alice Berninghausen fell in love with modern Chinese ink painting during their first extended stay in the People’s Republic of China in 1987-88. Over the course of the following two decades, they assembled an impressive collection of paintings, twenty-four of which are on display in the University Art Gallery from Oct. 27-Dec. 15.
The paintings, all from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, are the expression of a fertile period of revival and innovation for ink painting and calligraphy in China. As the country emerged from the strictures of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), artists were able to pursue their practices with fewer political constraints, and increasing freedom to experiment with subject matter and form. A playful return to the conventions and models of the pre-Communist past, freed from propagandistic and nationalistic demands, was an important expression of that new liberty.
Alice and John Berninghausen will speak about their collection
in Convocation Hall on Friday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m., with a reception to follow.
The event is free and open to the public.
University Art Gallery