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07.04.61
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07.04.61
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07.04.61

HK
HK
HK

About the item

Samual Kootz Gallery, New York and Galerie de France, Paris labels affixed to the stretcher on the reverse\nSigned in Pinyin and Chinese; signed in Pinyin, titled and dated 7.4.61 on the reverse\nThriving Vitality and Dynamic Energy\nZao Wou-Ki's 07.04.61 Like Bada Shanren, artist Xu Wei of the Late Ming dynasty also pushed the concept of xieyi into new territories, advocating that painting should not emphasize likeness in form, but should instead pursue a certain rhythm. He introduced a style of ‘wild cursive’ to be used in painting, which was bold and decisive in its brushstrokes, free and unrestrained. Confidently, Xu unleashed his emotions onto the scroll using the ‘ink splash’ technique. In his painting Grapes, for example, his use of the brush is a stormy flurry of abandonment, portraying the grapes as being battered violently in powerful gusts of wind. The grapes are not depicted as plump or glistening fruits, but rather, using the plight of the grapes, the artist gives expression to his own sense of melancholy, bestowing the xieyi scene with the joys and sorrows of life. Xu Wei’s ‘wild cursive’ infuses emotion into the scene, thus largely influencing the development of ink-wash painting. This influence has shuttled through countless centuries and manifested as the spirit in Zao Wou-Ki’s .\nIn 1959, Zao’s meditations on painting advanced to yet a higher level. He said, "I want to paint what isn’t visible – the breath of life, the wind, the force, the form of life." He gave himself a new challenge: expressing the "abstract" without using any figurative symbols, but through only colours and lines. Although we cannot see the wind, for example, the wind is a real presence; it is a part of nature that can be experienced. But how to express the wind’s vitality? Zao found his answer in the brush and xieyi spirit of "wild cursive".\nUpon the grand vertical canvas of , Zao has chosen earth tones – brown, grass green, a dusty yellow – as the dominant colours. Paired with the robust speed of the brush, the background is a space that conveys serenity and a sense of remoteness. In the centre, black lines that strongly invoke a calligraphic style cascade like an unbroken mountain ridge from the top to the bottom, starting from the centre and moving outward. Each stroke and each line possesses its own expression and effect, yet they are connected in energy, flowing smoothly. The forceful power of the lines can be attributed to Zao’s calligraphy foundation. The frenzied, galloping lines are like wild grass, recording the movement and rhythm of the creation; at times, they appear like flashes of lightning and tumbling boulders, and at others, they are light as a needle or the morning dew. The exquisite additions of white and orange, intersecting before the viewer’s eyes, create a moving, mystical scene, as if the artist has captured the breath of the universe, the extreme tension at the creation of the earth, and melded them together under the power of his brush, erupting, bursting forth like the flight of dragons, the galloping of horses. A speed that is impossible to overlook engulfs the viewer. The calligraphic nature and the wild rhythm of the brush emphasized in Chinese xieyi landscape paintings are presented here, in a novel way, right before the viewer’s eyes.\nZao Wou-Ki’s abstract brush fuses together the essence of thousands of years of Chinese xieyi aesthetics with Western media. In this way, his position in the Western movement of Abstract Expressionism can neither be contested nor disturbed. As literary critic François Cheng once said, "Zao Wou-Ki's artistic fate is not merely that of the individual. It is intimately tethered to the many thousand years of evolution of Chinese painting. This fact does not diminish the value of the artist’s personal exploration, but rather, enhances the emotional force of his accomplishments. In reality, when talking about what has been gained from his works, it can be said that the century-long anticipation in Chinese painting can now be put to rest. The symbiosis between East and West that should have occurred long ago has finally appeared for the first time."\n07.04.61 was chosen for Zao’s solo exhibition at Hayden Gallery in Cambridge in 1964, causing a stir in the art scene. In 1981, the painting was selected in the touring exhibition “Zao Wou-Ki, Peintures, encres de Chine, 1950-1981” held in several important art museums in Japan. Among the chosen works,  07.04.61 is undoubtedly one of the most representative works spanning the three decades of the artist’s career, a clear testaments to its significance.
HK
HK
HK

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Wou-Ki Zao

condition

This work is in good condition. Under UV: there is evidence of scattered slight touch ups across the surface of the work. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

dimensions

195 by 114 cm.;   76 1/4  by 44 1/4  in.

exhibition

Cambridge, Hayden Gallery, Zao Wou-Ki, 1964 Fukuoka, Fukuoka Art Museum, Zao Wou-Ki, Peintures, encres de Chine, 1950-1981, 6 - 21 October 1981, pl. 13 Tokyo, Grand Art Gallery, Zao Wou-Ki, Peintures, encres de Chine, 1950-1981, 13 - 18 November 1981, pl. 13 Fukui, Fukui Prefectural Museum of Art, Zao Wou-Ki, Peintures, encres de Chine, 1950-1981, 27 February – 22 March 1982, pl. 13 Kyoto, The National Museum of Modern Art, Zao Wou-Ki, Peintures, encres de Chine, 1950-1981, 30 March – 9 May 1982 Kamakura, The Museum of Modern Art, Zao Wou-Ki, Peintures, encres de Chine, 1950-1981, 16 May – 20 June 1982, pl. 13 Montauban, Musée Ingres, Zao Wou-Ki, October 1983, pl. 15

literature

Jean Leymarie, ed., Zao Wou-Ki, Edicions Polígrafa, Barcelona, 1978, pl. 298, p. 284 Jean Leymarie, ed., Zao Wou-Ki, Hier et Demain, Paris, 1978, pl. 298, p. 284 Jean Leymarie, ed., Zao Wou-Ki, Polígrafa, Barcelona, 1979, pl. 298, p. 284 Jean Leymarie, ed., Zao Wou-Ki, Rizzoli International Publications, New York, 1979, pl. 298, p. 284 Jean Leymarie, ed., Zao Wou-Ki, Cercle d'Art, Paris, 1986, pl. 330, p. 324 Freches José, ed., Zao Wou-Ki, Editions Hazan, Paris, 2007, p. 55 Dominique de Villepin, ed., Zao Wou-Ki: Oeuvres 1935-2008, Flammarion, Paris, 2009, p. 138

provenance

Kootz Gallery, New York Important Private American Collection Galerie de France, Paris Important Private French Collection Calmels, Paris, 10 June, 1996, lot 33 Important Private Collection Christie's, Hong Kong, 26 October, 2003, lot 133 Important Private Asian Collection Sotheby's, Hong Kong, 6 October, 2009, lot 548 Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

signedDate

Signed in Pinyin and Chinese; signed in Pinyin, titled and dated 7.4.61 on the reverse

consignmentDesignation

Property from an Important Private Asian Collection

creator_nationality_dates

1920-2013


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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