The HKU Museum Society is pleased to organize a viewing of two exhibitions at UMAG. The first exhibition Alberto Reguera: Homage to Aert van der Neer is presented with support of the HKUMS 30th Anniversary Endowment Fund. The second exhibition is Red and Blue and White: Yuan and early Ming Dynasty Ceramics from the Jinglexuan Collection. We will be guided by Dr. Florian Knothe, Director of UMAG.
Alberto Reguera: Homage to Aert van der Neer
Dazzled by the twilight of 17th-century painter Aert van der Neer’s (1603–77) Moonlit Landscape with a Road beside a Canal (1645– 50), contemporary Spanish artist Alberto Reguera created a new series of paintings as an homage to the celebrated artist of the Dutch Golden Age. Each of Reguera’s paintings displays an in-depth study of the representation of light and sky in the European tradition of painting while engaging in a dialogue with Van der Neer’s Moonlit Landscape.
The sensitive depiction of light in the night sky most inspired Alberto Reguera, in part because of the similarities to his own work. These new paintings examine and connect directly to Van der Neer’s masterpiece, and the important painterly achievements of the Dutch painter’s generation. While the Golden Age landscapes have been widely discussed and imitated over the past three centuries, it is Reguera’s particularly intense form of study and thoughtful application of style that has culminated in these highly personal and accomplished works.
The exhibition and accompanying publication is the second collaboration between the University Museum and Art Gallery and Alberto Reguera. While the first exhibition Blue Expansive Landscape (2015) was notable for the display of the painter’s two- and three-dimensional works, and his innovative ways of painting beyond the canvas, Homage to Aert van der Neer is a similarly complex endeavour that has been achieved through a successful partnership with the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and the artist, and the financial support of the University of Hong Kong Museum Society
Red and Blue and White: Yuan and early Ming Dynasty Ceramics from the Jinglexuan Collection
This exhibition documents the advanced development of red-and-white and blue-and-white Chinese ceramics. These treasured artefacts are highly sophisticated and they led to a production of unprecedented importance both for the domestic and, eventually, the foreign market.
Interestingly, while the surface decoration exemplifies technological advances in glaze materials and firing techniques, the depicted iconography employs a vocabulary of symbols long known and celebrated in Chinese culture. Rare examples stand out for they also display stylistic features adopted into the manufacture of export wares that were, like some of the decorative bottles and bowls, sent to patrons in the Middle East and show more Islamic than Chinese shapes and motifs.
At the University Museum, this selection of early red-and-white and blue-and-white ceramics prefaces and extends the museum’s own collection and the array of further developed forms and colours that characterise later Ming and Qing dynasty porcelains. We are grateful to the Jinglexuan Collection for this opportunity to curate such an exceptionally expansive and educational display.
Dr. Florian Knothe teaches the history of decorative arts in the 17th and 18th century with particular focus on the social and historic importance of royal French manufacture. He has long been interested in the early modern fascination with Chinoiserie and the way royal workshops and smaller private enterprises helped to create and cater to this long-lasting fashion. Dr. Knothe worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art focusing on European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and on European and East Asian glass at The Corning Museum of Glass, before his current position as Director of the University Museum and Art Gallery at HKU.
Images: Courtesy of UMAG
PEQUEÑAS FANTASÍAS CROMÁTICAS II . Alberto Reguera & Yuhuchun Vase, Yuan dynasty