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      A Lithographic Legacy

      ByZhang Kun November 5, 2020
      A print work created by Zao Wou-ki on show at the ongoing exhibition in Shanghai [For China Daily]

       

      An ongoing exhibition reviews the career of printmaker Zao Wou-ki.

      Thirty-five lithographic prints by Zao Wou-ki (1920-2013) are on show at Shanghai's Bund 111 Art Space. The displays are arranged in chronological order to reveal three chapters of the artistic production of one of China's most prominent modern artists.

      The exhibition is curated by France's Villepin Gallery, organized by Shanghai International Trust and supported by the Shanghai International Culture Association. It's open for free from Oct 23 to the end of the year.

      "Zao built a bridge of art between the East and West," says Ramain Sarfati, CEO of Villepin Gallery, which worked with the artist for decades.

      Most exhibits are from the Switzerland-based Zao Wou-ki Foundation, Sarfati says. The foundation is headed by the artist's widow, Francoise Marquet, who decided to present his art in China in recognition of Zao's wish to reconnect with his roots.

      Zao used to say: "Everyone is bound by a tradition. I am bound by two."

      The artist was born in Beijing and grew up in Shanghai. He was significantly influenced by French impressionists while studying at the Hangzhou School of Fine Arts (today's China Academy of Fine Arts), artist and scholar He Shouchang said at the exhibition's opening.

      Zao moved to France in 1948 and joined the local art community, working and living among such neighbors as Henri Matisse and Alberto Giacometti.

      A print work created by Zao Wou-ki on show at the ongoing exhibition in Shanghai [For China Daily]

       

      "His art turned abstract from the 1950s to the '60s," He says.

      It later became more subjective, and focused purely on the strokes, colors and lines.

      He finds the seamless fusion of Eastern and Western philosophy in Zao's later creation period.

      For example, he says, his watercolors' rhythm and "breath" show rich connections with his ink art's freehand brushwork.

      "Painting is the same as breathing," Zou used to say.

      "People need to breathe. They can't live without breathing. Painting also needs to breathe. You must put in your own feelings and let the picture breathe with you."

      Zou "discovered" lithography in 1949, according to the Zao Wou-ki Foundation, and printmaking remained an important part of his creation afterward.

      Lithography is often considered an especially artistic and painterly form of printmaking because of its complicated processes and use of drawing and coloring multiple layers by hand.

      Founded by Shanghai Trust in 2016, the Bund 111 Art Space has hosted exhibitions of such important artists as Wu Guanzhong, Chen Yifei and Xu Beihong. It regularly hosts salons and other educational projects about art and investment during exhibitions. 

      If you go

      No Limits: An exhibition in Celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of Zao Wou-ki's Birth

      9 am-4:30 pm (last entry before 4 pm), Monday-Saturday, Oct 23-Dec 31. Bund 111 Art Space, 111 Jiujiang Road, Huangpu district, Shanghai.

       

      (Source: China Daily)

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      永利集团手机网址