André Kneib and the Art of Chinese Calligraphy, by Associate Professor of Art History Stephen J. Goldberg, was recently published by Mare & Martin (Paris) as the first volume in the new Méroé series.
Printed in English, French, and Chinese, the book is the first comprehensive study of the life and remarkable calligraphic art of André Kneib (b. 1953), an artist and scholar living in the Alsace region of France.
Kneib earned acclaim in China for his highly innovative works in the traditional medium of Chinese calligraphy. One of his works, Bamboo, is in the collection of the Wellin Museum of Art. This study establishes his place and defining role in the history and development of contemporary Chinese calligraphy.
According to Goldberg, “Foremost among Kneib’s many contributions is the integration of acrylic color with the traditional medium of brush and ink, forging a synthesis of the painterly, chromatic, and the gestural that has truly revolutionized the practice of Chinese calligraphy.
“What began as a modest though bold artistic experiment in cross-cultural hybridity ultimately developed into the compelling transcultural practice that it is today,” Goldberg said.
Kneib’s work tells the story of a creative journey across geographical and cultural borders, and the genesis of an oeuvre that is truly transcultural, having multiple localities of artistic and cultural identification and belonging.
Goldberg noted that, “in this respect, the term ‘transcultural’ enables us to move the discussion of contemporary calligraphy beyond the issues of national cultural identity and provenance, and the deeply-ingrained narratives of calligraphy as a representation of ‘national essence.’”
Nadia Greasley, a writing tutor for the English for Speakers of Other Languages program and a writing guide and French tutor for the HEOP program, translated the French edition of the book.
Xiaohan Du ’12 contributed to the Chinese translation. She is in the Ph.D. program in art history and archaeology at Columbia University and is currently conducting research for her dissertation, On A Snowy Night: Yishan Yining (1247-1317) and the Development of Zen Calligraphy in Medieval Japan.