油彩畫布 54×73 cm
羅芙奧台北 2021 秋季拍賣會 / 編號 224
ZAO Wou-ki｜Couple au Paysage Gris, 1951
Oil on canvas, 54×73 cm
Ravenel Autumn Auction 2021 Taipei / Lot 224
油彩畫布 88.7×115.7 cm
蘇富比香港 / 2021春季拍賣會 / 編號1033
成交價 港幣 7,445.3 萬
ZAO Wou-Ki｜Untitled (Golden City), 1951
Oil on canvas, 88.7×115.7 cm
Sotheby’s Spring Auction 2021 HK, Lot 1033
Henri Michaux, whose critiques of individual works are always very insightful and in tune with the artist’s mood, felt that Zao’s paintings were not depicting “landscapes” as much as “nature,” and that his early work was bathed in the lively atmosphere of Chinese festivals, while at the same time emanating a powerful sense of vastitude and mysticism. Giacometti once told Zao that he was especially fond of the “spontaneous nonchalance rippling in tremors” (il y avait un côté pattes de mouche tremblotantes) through his paintings-a remark already hinting at the artist’s gradual switch to out-and-out abstraction, which was to follow later in his career.
In 1948, Zao Wou-ki left China for France, where he studied art and immersed himself in the pulsating bohemian and cultural life of the old continent. He was quickly at home in Paris, and his superior painting skills and creative genius soon found wide recognition in art circles. In 1951, Zao temporarily put his painting efforts on a backburner and began to travel through Europe to broaden his horizons and seek new inspirations. Making his way to Switzerland for a presentation of his copperplate etchings, he had the opportunity to visit a Paul Klee exhibition in Bern. Zao was deeply impressed by Klee’s ability to evoke immeasurably vast spaces in even the smallest-sized of paintings, and to delicately blend colors with lines and symbols to conjure up abstract poeticism and playgrounds of imagination. There is something Oriental about Klee’s work, an ingenious mastery that directly communicated itself to Zao, pointing a way toward the art of the abstract. It is no exaggeration to say that those years of freewheeling exploration were crucial for the Chinese artist’s development as an internationally renowned master of lyrical-abstractionist painting.
Zao also traveled to other places, such as Italy and Spain, where Southern European architectural styles attracted his interest, and the bright, intense colors and romantic Mediterranean spirit became lasting sources of inspiration for his work. This influence can be strongly felt in the artist’s compositions from the early 1950s, including this lot, titled “Paysage” (“Landscape”), in which vacillating fine lines dominate the foreground and expand to both sides of the canvas to create a sense of depth and space. Dark lines reminiscent of Chinese pictographs are assembled into a mountain village and green trees, with human figures and frolicking animals faintly discernible in between. Bright yellow tones in the European tradition are fused with fresh shades of green to generate a joyful atmosphere that is further accentuated by dabs of opaque white. The overall effect is that of a dreamlike world, a delightfully different plane of reality.
“Paysage” has to be counted as a work of representational art: while the depicted subjects have already been “replaced” by symbolic pictograms, they yet remain immediately identifiable by the observer. However, the profound mystique of the natural world, perfectly mirrored in the artist’s shorthand imagery, imbues the entire composition with an intriguing mood, both confusing and spellbinding. Moreover, “Paysage” is a deftly crafted amalgam of European palette and the traditional Chinese multi-perspective approach, a clever mixture of literati-painting metaphors and Western techniques. Zao, while rooted in the Oriental tradition, encountered European styles and techniques with an open mind, absorbing new ways of lighting and coloring to come away with a fresh outlook on Chinese visual art, in particular its treatment of space and perspective. Zao has a true talent for combining seemingly incongruent elements and approaches, and allowing them to harmoniously complement each other. In the process, he has created masterpieces both lyrical and majestic, always forging ahead in his search for perfect abstraction.
| 文章來源 |
羅芙奧藝術 Ravenel 2021 現代與當代藝術
Modern and Contemporary Art
Dec 5 p.62 – p.63
| 圖版提供 | 羅芙奧藝術 Ravenel