Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

15.12.60
Sold
15.12.60
Sold

15.12.60

HK
HK
HK

About the item

Kootz Gallery label affixed to the stretcher on the reverse\nSigned in Pinyin and Chinese; signed in Pinyin and dated 15.12.60 on the reverse\nAbstract Variations on Chinese Landscape Painting\nZao Wou-Ki's Hurricane period (1959-1972) not only marked the artist's crucial transition towards a more grand and majestic style, but also bore witness to his acceptance in the West. In 1957, he signed with Galerie de France, and the following year, with Samuel Kootz in New York, securing representation from two illustrious and storied galleries. International exhibitions of his work traveled the world; Zao Wou-Ki's prestige in Western art circle was now beyond a doubt. Zao also visited New York for the first time along with his friend, the French artist Pierre Soulages. He met with a variety of New York artists, exposing himself to fresh aesthetic perspectives. After divorcing his first wife, Lalan, he met and fell in love with his second wife, Chan May-Kan, in Hong Kong, another development that contributed to Zao's breakthroughs in both art and life.\nZao Wou-Ki's works from this period reflect the influence of Western Abstract Expressionism, but more than that, they harken back to the aesthetics of traditional Chinese art. Zao revamped his personal creative vocabulary during this period, transitioning to a more purely abstract style between his Oracle Bone period (1954-1959) and the peak of his Hurricane period. He ceased to include concrete symbols (like oracle-bone inscriptions) in his work; instead, he more deeply explored space and structure in his canvas. The vertical composition of 15.12.60 (Lot 1003) seems to express the creative concepts of Chinese landscape painting: clouds and mist swirl together in the background, forming a contrast with the mountainous towers and crags in the foreground. The result is a union of empty and full: a poetic tableau in which shades of red, black, and white blend together like sky and sea to create a majestic effect. Viewing this painting, one is reminded of the vertical scrolls of traditional Chinese painting, and in particular, the classical landscape styles of the Song Dynasty masters Mi Fu and Xia Gui. Zao Wou-Ki fused the techniques of Western Abstract Expressionism with the creative concepts of Chinese traditional landscape painting, a milestone achievement in postwar Chinese abstract art. 15.12.60 is a representative masterpiece of Zao's consummate combination of Western Abstract Expressionism and Chinese traditional aesthetics.\nThe rising tide of Abstract Expressionism in postwar Western art led artists around the world to simplify their imagery and explore non-narrative styles. The masters of Western Abstract Expressionism at the time included the French painters Hans Hartung and Pierre Soulages, as well as Americans such as Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. Line is an extremely important aspect of Western painting that is used to depict objects or express an artist's aesthetic vision, and the move towards Abstract Expressionism was particularly evident in the lines of these painters' works. Simple lines can express abstract beauty, and they are also a means of conveying the artist's emotions and feelings. The use of line in Western art is largely based on rational principles, generally expressing form or structure with an emphasis on shape. In contrast, in Eastern art, line represents a higher degree of aesthetic value. Artists and calligraphers alike draw written characters with coarse or fine lines, and heavy or light brushstrokes, as a means of expressing their emotions and their aesthetic sensibilities. In 15.12.60, Zao Wou-Ki does not outline mountains and trees; instead, he uses a combination of intersecting and interwoven lines to suggest the feel of a landscape. These concise brushstrokes gradually form the distinctively uneven shapes of traditional Chinese painting: jagged, rocky mountains and rivers with fanciful forms, and robust brushstrokes reminiscent of ink calligraphy. At the same time, Zao uses Western methods of oil painting to create a layered texture, producing the visual effect of a vigorous modern landscape: an abstract variation on Chinese traditional landscape painting.\nA major European collector purchased 15.12.60 from the Kootz Gallery in 1961 and retained it in the collector private collection for more than fifty years. Now this painting is available for auction for the first time, a truly golden opportunity for collectors who are interested in rare works by Zao Wou-Ki.
HK
HK
HK

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Zao, Wou-Ki

condition

The work is overall in good condition. Conservation report is available upon request. "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

130 by 96.5 cm; 51 ¼ by 38 in. 

provenance

Kootz Gallery, New York Acquired directly from the above by the present important private American collector in 1961

signedDate

Signed in Pinyin and Chinese; signed in Pinyin and dated 15.12.60 on the reverse

artist_range_end

2013

artist_range_start

1920

consignmentDesignation

Property from an important private american 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.


Advert
Advert

Sold items

No. 15
Sold

No. 15

Realized Price
50,441,000 USD

Number 12, 1950
Sold

Number 12, 1950

Realized Price
18,282,000 USD

Flag
Sold

Flag

Realized Price
13,056,700 USD

Number 12, 1949
Sold

Number 12, 1949

Realized Price
11,655,500 USD

12 Mona Lisas (Reversal Series)
Sold

12 Mona Lisas (Reversal Series)

Realized Price
11,365,000 USD

Sold

No. 15

Realized Price
8,967,500 USD

Sold

15 Canvas Study of the Grand Canyon

Realized Price
8,045,716 USD

Sold

24.12.2002 – Diptyque

Realized Price
5,073,600 USD

Sold

12.04.60

Realized Price
4,638,840 USD

Sold

1.5.60

Realized Price
4,215,771 USD

Sold

Zao, Wou-Ki

Realized Price
3,739,992 USD