A Brush with Beauty: Japanese Paintings in Ink, Color, and Gold opens Oct. 26 at Newfields

Joey Amato | October 15, 2019

By Joey Amato

For the first time in nearly two decades, the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields presents a major exhibition of artworks selected from its stellar Japanese painting collection, one of the finest in the country. A Brush with Beauty: Japanese Paintings in Ink, Color, and Gold will be open Oct. 26 through Jan. 26, 2020. The exhibition highlights the rich diversity of styles and modes of expression generated over 700 years by Japan’s greatest painters.

“The exhibition will feature exceptional works by well-known artists as well as visually stunning masterpieces by painters whose names have been lost over the intervening centuries,” said Dr. John Teramoto, the IMA’s Curator of Asian Art. “This will be a rare opportunity for guests to encounter and savor the rich pageantry and diversity of Japanese painting through objects of the highest quality.”

A Brush with Beauty exhibits over 80 Japanese masterworks in the form of folding screens, hanging and hand scrolls, fans and album leaves, ranging from the intimate to the monumental in size including works done solely in ink along with gorgeous paintings in rich pigments on gold and silver leaf ground. The collection is considered to be one of the finest collections of Japanese paintings in the United States due to its rich variety, quality and depth.

The exhibition will feature hands-on and digital interactives, including a sorting experience that connects guests with the artistic schools that flourished throughout Japan’s history. By taking a personality quiz, of sorts, guests will receive a school assignment and card with basic information and an artwork to find in the exhibition. Guests will also gain an understanding of the research and methods used in the conservation of ancient masterpieces.

A Brush with Beauty is curated by Dr. John Teramoto, and is on view in the Allen Whitehill Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery from Oct. 26 through Jan. 26, 2020. Newfields members are invited to explore the exhibition first at member-only preview days, Oct. 24 & 25. A Brush with Beauty is the final and largest exhibition of Seasons of Japan, a year-long celebration of Japanese art and culture at Newfields. Through the run of the show guests can also visit, Infinitely Kusama, Fashion Redefined: Miyake, Kawakubo Yamamoto, Nihonto: The Samurai Sword  and 47 Ronin: A Tale of Honor and Loyalty

A Brush with Beauty: Japanese Paintings in Ink, Gold and Color is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Lead support is provided by the Jan B. Rubin Art Exhibition Fund and Barnes & Thornburg LLP. Conservation efforts are supported by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.