Zao Wou-Ki, Décembre 89–Février 90—Quadriptyque (December 89–February 90—Quadriptych), 1989–90. Oil on canvas. Each canvas: 63 3/4 x 39 3/8 in. (162 x 100 cm); overall: 63 3/4 x 157 1/2 in. (162 x 400 cm). Private collections, Taiwan. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich. Photography by Jean-Louis Losi
WATERVILLE, ME.- No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki is the first retrospective of the work of Zao Wou-Ki (1920–2013) in the United States, and the first museum exhibition of his work in the U.S. in nearly a half-century. Consisting of oil paintings and works on paper from throughout Zao’s long career, the works in this exhibition provide a dazzling introduction to the contributions of this important Chinese-French artist. Considered one of the first superstar artists of the Chinese diaspora, Zao immigrated to Paris in 1948 and quickly established himself among post-war art circles there. Zao’s art-historical significance lies in his singular adaption of the visual poetry of Chinese art within twentieth-century oil-painting idioms. In his hands, abstraction embraced both European modernism and Chinese metaphysical principles. No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki offers stunning visual evidence of Zao’s pioneering internationalist aesthetic, and marks him as a key figure in twentieth-century transculturalism.
No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki is co-organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and Asia Society Museum, New York, where it is currently on view through January 8, 2017. The exhibition is cocurated by Dr. Melissa Walt, Research Associate, Colby College; Dr. Ankeney Weitz, Ellerton M. and Edith K. Jetté Professor of Art, Colby College; and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Asia Society.
Zao Wou-Ki, Rouge, bleu, noir (Red, blue, black), 1957. Oil on canvas, 29 1/2 x 32 in. (74.9 x 81.2 cm). Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum. Gift of Benjamin and Lilian Hertzberg, 2007.29. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich.
Zao Wou-Ki, 13.01.76, 1976. Oil on canvas, 59 x 63 3/4 in. (150 x 162 cm). Private Collection, Taiwan. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich.
Zao Wou-Ki, Hortensias (Hydrangeas), 1953. Color lithograph, 19 9/16 x 25 1/2 in. (49.7 x 64.8 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter A. Wick, 57.160. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich.
Zao Wou-Ki, Sans titre (Untitled), 1972. India ink on paper, 26 3/16 x 47 1/16 in. (66.5 x 119.5 cm). Private collection, Switzerland. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich.
Zao Wou-Ki, Marronnier (Chestnut), 1955. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (100.3 x 64.8 cm). Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University. Gift of Harvey Picker ’36, 1994.2.4. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich.