Geneva Anderson digs into art

Final Days: “Beyond Golden Clouds: Five Centuries of Japanese Screens,” Asian Art Museum through Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flowering Cherry and Autumn Maples with Poem Slips, approx. 1654/81. By Tosa Mitsuoki (approx. 1617-1691). Pair of six-panel screens; ink, color, gold, and silver on silk. The Art Institute of Chicago, Kate S. Buckingham Endowment (1977.156-57)

Japanese folding screens have captured the imagination of the West since the 16th century when Europeans had their first glimpse of this expressive art form which combines functionality with painting, calligraphy, poetics and design.  Artists have realized their most expansive visions by working across their large flat surfaces with rare mineral pigments and precious gold and silver. Beyond Golden Clouds: Five Centuries of Japanese Screens , at San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum presents forty-one rarely seen large scale Japanese screens dating from the 1500s through the present and closes this Sunday, January 16, 2011.  The exhibition celebrates the evolution of the folding screen, or byōbu (“wind wall”), from pre-modern to contemporary times, highlighting its distinctive position in Japanese culture as both a functional and expressive art form.  Initially created for the aristocracy and noble elite and later accessible to commoners, the art form has retained its special currency.  The rare screens on display are considered the masterpieces of the esteemed collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Saint Louis Art Museum who each contributed roughly half of the screens on display.  Unlike exhibitions of screens in the past, Beyond Golden Clouds includes a range of works from 16th century ink paintings to late 20th century installation works.  The phrase “Beyond Golden Clouds” describes one of the most popular motifs in classical screens, while also expressing the departure from conventional compositions and techniques in the past century.

Details: The Asian Art Museum is located 200 Larkin Street, at Civic Center in San Francisco. January hours: Tuesday- Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Mondays. or (415) 581-3500.   Tickets: There is a $5.00 surcharge to the General Admission price to see “Beyond Golden Clouds.”

January 10, 2011 Posted by | Art, Asian Art Museum | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment