29th Oct, 2019 12:00 EST

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 27
 
Lot 27 - Zao Wou-Ki (Chinese/French, 1920-2013)

27

Zao Wou-Ki (Chinese/French, 1920-2013)
Untitled

Signed and dated 55 bottom right, watercolor and ink on paper.
8 9/16 x 10 1/2 in. (21.7 x 26.7cm)

Provenance: Private Collection, Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.

note:
This lot is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity issued by the Fondation Zao Wou-Ki, and signed by Françoise Marquet, the artist's widow and President of the Fondation Zao Wou-Ki.

Sold for $93,750
Estimated at $80,000 - $120,000


 

Signed and dated 55 bottom right, watercolor and ink on paper.
8 9/16 x 10 1/2 in. (21.7 x 26.7cm)

Provenance: Private Collection, Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.

note:
This lot is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity issued by the Fondation Zao Wou-Ki, and signed by Françoise Marquet, the artist's widow and President of the Fondation Zao Wou-Ki.

Untitled, 1955, provides a graceful example of the integration of influences and cultural contexts that would inform Zao Wou-Ki's work throughout his life. Moving from China to Paris in 1948, Zao built on his foundational education as a calligraphy painter by exploring the work of Paul Klee, Matisse, Picasso, and Cézanne, as well as contemporary French musicians and poets. He also visited New York City with some frequency in the 1950s, meeting Abstract Expressionist artists and experiencing their work firsthand. Zao's particular fluency in both Eastern and Western cultural expression and aesthetic sensibilities afforded him rich sources for creating his own unique style.

As he moved away from landscape and figural work into a more all-over abstraction in the 1950s, he maintained his connection to traditional Chinese calligraphy and ink painting. Untitled shows Zao creating a ring of activity around a calm center that gives the viewer breathing room. His language of signs and symbolic "tracks" connect to ancient Chinese inscriptions carved on "oracle bones" and bronzes from the Shang Dynasty before 1000 BCE. These earliest forms of Chinese writing had divinatory meaning and influenced Zao's marks in their strong lines and lively movement. This subtle watercolor provides a window into his experimentation with a convergence of cultural expression that he made his own.

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