Following on from the exhibition Painting Apart from the World, which invited visitors to explore China’s imperial legacy through the work of literati painters, the Cernuschi Museum extends this journey through time, focusing on 20th century Chinese painting.

For the first time, the museum, which has one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary Chinese paintings in Europe, is showing these masterpieces. The exhibition brings together more than seventy paintings created by thirty-four artists. The presentation of these fragile ink and paper treasures, which cannot be exposed to light for long periods, is a unique event.

Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm, except for public holidays
(booking at ticket office is possible until 4:30 pm).

Full rate: €10
Reduced rate: €8
Free for holders of the Paris Musées pass, for under 18s, for the disabled and their carers.

Free access to the permanent collections.

From the end of the Empire to the Revolution of 1949, 20th century China underwent major changes, reflected in Chinese painting. Defined for centuries by the use of ink, it reinvented itself under the influence of oil painting and photography, but also through the rediscovery of its own history.

The travels of artists played a key role in this renewal. Although the destinations changed from one generation to the next, the exchanges extended from Europe to the United States, and of course Asia. Ink painting was deeply impacted by this crosscultural dialogue. Throughout the century, it was at the centre of theoretical debates, about the definition of national painting, the question of political commitment, of realism and abstraction.

The Cernuschi Museum’s collection of Chinese painting, gathered since the 1950s, comprises several hundred works. It is one of the few collections in Europe to include both the paintings of masters active in China, such as Qi Baishi, Fu Baoshi, Wu Guanzhong and Li Jin alongside the works of the most important figures of the artistic diaspora including Chang Dai-chien (Zhang Daqian), Zao Wouki (Zhao Wuji), Walasse Ting (Ding Xiongquan) and Ma Desheng.

An Exhibition organized around seven themes:

  • 1. Ancient Scripts and Modern Painting in the early 20th Century
  • 2. Modernizing Painting, Between China and Japan
  • 3. An Internal Exile: Discovering the Peoples of the West
  • 4. Painting Ink Nudes: Towards a Universal Art?
  • 5. Red Painting, Revolutionary Drawings and Ink Paintings
  • 6. Between Two Worlds: Dialogue with Abstraction
  • 7. Cutting the string of the kite? Ink Painting in the 1980s and 1990s

To better introduce this century of movement and creation, the exhibition includes archival films showing ink painting’s gestural aspects, from virtuoso demonstrations by the masters, to happenings that radically challenge the link between the ink and the brush. These very rare films feature the greatest creators of the 20th century, definitely showing ink in motion.

An avant-garde collection

The exhibition Ink in Motion marks the culmination of 70 years of acquisitions. For the first time, paintings from the first half of the 20th century, outstanding landscapes and eccentric figures that challenge tradition, are shown alongside creations from recent decades: revolutionary sketches, abstract and experimental inks that have recently joined the museum’s collections, thanks to major donations from Françoise Marquet-Zao and AXA.

This exhibition is organized thanks to the patronage of Mutuelles AXA.

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