Through An Open Door: Selections from the Robert A. Hefner III Collection of Contemporary Chinese Oil Paintings focuses on 54 works representing 32 artists from Hefners' permanent collection. Included are transitional pieces showing the development from Socialist Realism, common to Chinese oil painting from the beginning of the People's Republic through the late 1970s, to what Chinese critics have called Country Realism, prevalent in the 1980s, and on to a neoclassical style by which many of these artists have become identified over the last decade. More recent paintings, reflect an abstract as well as surrealist direction taken by the younger generation of artists. This collection represents the energy and experimentation of the Chinese artists who took oil painting in a whole new direction during one of the most critical times in their cultural history. Through photographs, and in their own words, we come to understand more about these unique individuals and how they view their past and present in their rapidly changing society.