Ink on paperexpand_more
Gift of funds from David Dewey and Addy Lam, the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation, Beverly Grossman, the William I. and Bianca M. Fine Charitable Trust, Sheila Morgan, George Muellner, the Blackman-Helseth Family Foundation, Richard and Jennie Carlson, Kaywin Feldman and Jim Lutz, Pat and Tom Grossman, Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, Hubert Joly, John and Nancy Lindahl, Barbara Longfellow, M. Julie McKinley, Thomas M. Morin, Hueyun Wang, Serene and Chris Warren, donors to the 2016 Mia Gala, and the Ruth Ann Dayton Chinese Room Endowment Fundexpand_more 2016.80
Liu Dan is a renowned Chinese artist who reinterprets art from the history of Western Europe and the United States using traditional Chinese ink-painting techniques. In this work, he took Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas at Lystra (2011.13), created by Dutch painter Willem de Poorter in 1636, as his starting point but abandoned most of the details that define the human forms. Instead, he presents characters as rock formations with grotesque faces. The original story is lost or disrupted. As a landscape, the work shows Liu’s attention to space and scale and to the volume and texture of the rocks. This new interpretation of an old painting forces viewers to look at a fantastical world with fresh eyes.
Born in Nanjing, China, in 1953, Liu Dan is one of that nation’s most renowned living artists. His finest still lifes and landscapes blend an innovative virtuosity in Chinese ink painting with a deep knowledge of the Western art canon. With this work, Mia adds to its collection of contemporary ink painting from China.