Love and death - two of life’s most essential experiences - have long been themes explored in art. While portrayals of love and death in Western art has received much attention, these themes and their appearance in Chinese art, particularly in Chinese literati painting, has gone largely unexplored in museums and literature today. Hidden Meanings of Love and Death will draw from the Marilyn and Roy Papp Collection, an impressive and world-renowned collection of Chinese paintings from the 14th through 19th centuries, many of which capture the sadness, longing, nostalgia, fear and sexual yearning concealed within a visual language of metaphor and detailed, delicate imagery. The exhibition will include more than thirty pieces, including hanging scrolls, hand scrolls, albums, and fans, all of which have been meticulously and painstakingly researched for historical context and understanding.
To accompany this exhibition, the 96-page catalogue "Hidden Meanings of Love and Death in Chinese Painting: Selections from the Marilyn and Roy Papp Collection" is available online and in the Museum Store.
Pan Xuefeng (fl. 18th c.) Dreaming in the Xiaoxin Pavilion, dated 1794. Handscroll, ink & color on paper, 47.3 x 333.7 cm, Gift of Marilyn and Roy Papp.
The exhibition is drawn exclusively from the Papp Collection and works previously donated to Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition is organized by Phoenix Art Museum and is made possible through the generous support of the Asian Arts Council.