Chen Chi: ‘His Way’ on display at Butler


The Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, is featuring a singular exhibit of watercolors by the artist Chen Chi. Internationally revered during his lifetime, Chen Chi was born in 1912 in Shanghai, China. The artist came to the United States in 1947 as part of a cultural exchange program. For 40 years, he lived and worked in New York City, residing at the National Arts Club. He also became a U.S. citizen. Upon his 2005 death at age 93, the artist bequeathed many of the paintings in the current exhibit to the Butler Institute.

An impressionist, Chi’s later works, such as “New Moon Rising” and “Gold Sun Shining,” seem to see beyond an earthly domain. The exhibit is breathtaking, revealing Chi’s mastery of a difficult medium, watercolor on rice paper.

The exhibit, “His Way: The Paintings of Chen Chi” will be on display until May 5.

I encourage anyone who ever wanted to take brush to canvas to go and view these international treasures, now in the keeping of Youngstown’s own Butler museum. Our city can be eternally grateful for the generosity of Chen Chi, a true American master.