Lithograph on paper, signed and dated
lower right and numbered EA 18/25
120.5 x 80 cm
47 1/4 x 31 1/2 in
The catalogue raisonné of the engraved work of Zao Wou-Ki by Jorgen Agerup
published by Heede and Moestrup,
signed by the artist on the first page.
Private collection, Paris
AGERUP Jorgen, The Graphic Work A catalogue raisonné 1937 - 1995, Edition Heede and Moestrup, Copenhagen, 1994. N°346, page 192, illustrated in colour.
The lithograph we present belongs to the abstract period of Zao Wou-Ki who abandoned the figuration and the technique of Chinese calligraphy that he used in his first works. It is a work that is part of his production of lithographs begun in the 1950s. Nature is present with organic colours, a balanced landscape and harmonious cohabitation, a work of maturity testifying to the cultural and artistic transfers that the artist assimilated throughout his life.
Making his work a bridge between East and West, Zao Wou-Ki (1921-2013), who began his studies at the Hangzhou School of Fine Arts, spent most of his life in France. Born into a family whose lineage dates back to the Song royal dynasty, he grew up among intellectuals and was encouraged in his artistic practice at an early age. In 1946, during a trip to China, Vadim Eliseev, the curator of the Cernuschi Museum, met him and encouraged him to come to France. The artist settled in Paris in 1948 in a studio in the Montparnasse district. He then studied lithography at the Desjobert studio and began to produce series there. Henri Michaux, a fervent admirer of his work, wrote several poems related to his lithographs, all of which were published and met with great success. The year 1955 was a pivotal one as he became definitively abstract. He will put the rest of his career to the benefit of a pictorial research tending towards the universality of nature.