Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2015 Autumn Auctions
20th Century and Contemporary Chinese Art

ZAO WOU-KI (1921-2013)
Sans Titre

Watercolour on paper

25 x 19cm.9 7/8 x 7 1/2 in.

Signed in Chinese and ’ZAO’ in English,dated ’70’ on lower right

PROVENANCE 20th Century Chinese Art,Sotheby’s Hong Kong,7 October 2012,Lot 502

Acquired from the above auction by the present owner.

Zao Wou-Ki 1921 - 2013

Zao Wou-Ki recalled in his autobiography that when he first arrived in France,he deliberate kept certain distance from traditional Chinese painting because he did not want to boast oriental techniques and styles based on his calligraphy skills acquired from childhood. Zao once stopped to do oil painting in the 70s to take care of his wife in illness. It was not until his friend Henry Michaux,a poet,encouraged him that he put down oil painting and re-picked up ink painting to re-explore into traditional Chinese ink painting. This helped him further understand the philosophy of traditional Chinese painting and initiated his new stage of painting philosophy.

The Zao Wou-Ki’s watercolor painting was based on his oil painting to some extent. The sensitive broken brushes and favored colors originated from his oil painting but became lighter,freer and brighter in watercolor,as shown in “Sans Titre” and “Dawn”. These two are watercolor paintings from the 70s and 80s. The former is filled with thick stacking brushes and composition of tension,demonstrating Zao’s exploration and accumulation of in oil painting. The later presents the artist’s different look going through the transformation of ink painting. His mind was geared toward an oriental and natural inaction,while his composition resembles the secluded state of Southern Song Dynasty.

Price estimate:
HKD:350,000 - 550,000
USD:45,150 - 71,000

Auction Result:
HKD : 531,000



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