Bamboo, 1973 Oil on canvas，framed, inscribed and dated guichou 1973, followed by one rectangular relief seal of the artist reading Ji with four additional artist's seals. 44 3/4 x 58in (113.7 x 147.3cm)
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist by one of his New York students, thereafter by descent
Wang Jiyuan (Wang Chi-yuan) was born in Wujin, Jiangsu province. He was an early exponent of European style painting, collaborating with Liu Haisu (1896-1994) to form the Tianma Society to promote French-style Salon exhibitions in Shanghai, and counted Pan Yuliang (1895-1977) among his students. He first arrived in the United States in San Francisco during 1941. In November 1942, he moved to New York, where he would spend the rest of his life as a painter and teacher of traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, although he continued to work in oils as well. In the United States he often exhibited his works with Zhang Daqian and C.C. Wang.
Wang Jiyuan's paintings not only reflect his understanding of Chinese brushwork, but he continued to seek to incorporate European approaches to painting. The current lot, a traditional Chinese subject of bamboo painted in oil on canvas, is an excellent example of his attempt to bridge the two aesthetics. For more on Wang Jiyuan's life and work, see Gordon Chang, Mark Dean Johnson, Paul J. Karlstrom, and Sharon Spain, Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970, Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press, 2008.