Reframing Zen: An Analysis of Morita Shiryu's Japanese Avant Garde Calligraphy

Sabrina Carletti : History of Art

Mentor: Professor Gregory Levine, History of Art

Sabrina Carletti's project will inquire into Japanese postwar calligraphy within the Zen'ei bijutsu (avant-garde) movement while focusing on the calligraphy of Morita Shiry_ (1926-1999), who brought radical changes to calligraphy practice by leading the bokujin-kai, or the “Human Ink Society.” Sabrina intends to depart from the familiar “influence model” of Japanese and Western avant-gardes by arguing for a more complex understanding of “Zen” in Japanese modern calligraphy. Sabrina will travel to Japan to study works by Morita at the Museums of Modern Art, Tokyo and Kyoto, and to New York to observe works by Franz Kline and other Abstract Expressionist artists at the Museum of Modern Art. .