Frost’s paintings featured


YOUNGSTOWN — A new exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art will showcase the cross-cultural work of Chinese-born artist Wenlan Hu Frost.

The exhibition, titled Chinese Calligraphy 2.0 — The Love Character Abstract Symbolism Series, opens Thursday and runs through March 2. It will feature 40 acrylic paintings, each 48 by 48 inches.

Frost is the first artist to present a Chinese script character as a symbolic abstract art form in a Western medium.

She focuses mainly on the Chinese character for “love” as her motif for the series. Frost spent 32 years in China and 17 years in the United States, and her art blends Chinese and Western traits, creating a distinctive hybrid.

The series was conceived in December 2006 when Frost started to explore her own avant-garde style. In studying modern art history, she noticed that many Western master painters were inspired by Asian art. Then she realized that the Chinese character is itself a beautiful and ancient abstract art form that was not fully appreciated by the Western world.

One of the reasons is that Chinese calligraphy has been largely presented in black ink on rice paper, a medium not familiar in the Western world.

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