Los Angeles, CA
Showcasing one of the finest collections of 17th century Chinese paintings in the United States, Alternative Dreams: 17th Century Chinese Paintings from the Tsao Family Collection presents works by many of the most famous painters of this period, including scholars, officials, and Buddhist monks.
The 17th century witnessed the fall of the Chinese-ruled Ming dynasty (1368–1644) and the founding of the Manchu-ruled Qing dynasty (1644–1911). It was one of the most turbulent and creative eras in the history of Chinese art. Composed of 130 paintings, the exhibition explores the ways artists of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties used painting, calligraphy, and poetry to create new identities as means of negotiating the social disruptions that accompanied the fall of the Ming dynasty.
Formed over a period of fifty years by Bay Area collector and dealer Jung Ying Tsao, the collection includes works by Dong Qichang (1555–1636), considered the most versatile Chinese artist of the last five hundred years, and major, previously unpublished works by Gong Xian, Fu Shan, Hongren, Bada shanren, Daoji, Wang Hui, and Wang Yuanqi.
Exhibition overview from the LACMA website
Whether you go or not, the exhibition catalog, 17th-Century Chinese Paintings From the Tsao Family Collection, explores a politically turbulent yet creatively dynamic period in China's history. The 130 paintings from the 17th century include 16 works by Dong Qichang, the most protean Chinese painter of the last 500 years; paintings by masters such as Gong Xian, Hongren, Zhu Da, Daoji, Wang Hui, and Wang Yuanqi; and extremely rare works by lesser-known artists, scholars, officials, and Buddhist monks. Considers the function of landscape in Chinese culture, the political uses of painting, the relationship of painting to poetry, and the flourishing of Buddhist and Daoist studies among late Ming and early Qing literati.