The Dallas Museum of Art presents an exhibition that investigates the rich historical interplay between the art of Asia and the West. The exhibition "East Meets West" opens August 7 and is on view through November 27 in Focus Gallery I.
The exhibition pairs objects of sculpture, painting and decorative pieces from the East and West, revealing the creative interaction between the artists of the two worlds.
Artistic exchanges occurred as historical boundaries widened, first in antiquity and again after the Renaissance. As eastern Asia opened up to the West, prominent artists like Edgar Degas and James McNeill Whistler began to explore the visual styles of the Orient. At the same time, Asian artists created works for the European market.
That historical development could be considered an early movement in the creation of the "Global Village" of the modern world, since both Asian and Western artists today are able to work in a worldwide cultural context.
Paired pieces in the "East Meets West" exhibition show how the discovery of Asia by the Greeks during the reign of Alexander the Great influenced Asian Buddhist art, which began to reflect Greek and Roman styles. In the 17th century, Spanish Colonial artists adopted Japanese art types like folded screens. From a Gandharan "Head of Buddha" to a 20th-century Mark Tobey painting recalling Japanese calligraphy, visitors can see the effects of many profitable artistic meetings between the Western and Eastern worlds.
One of the outstanding works in the exhibit is the contemporary artist Mariko Mori's "Burning Desire," a large image on glass that shows the artist as a Tibetan Buddhist holy figure, encircled by flames. The work is on loan from Cindy and Howard Rachofsky.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.