Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji) 1921-2013, 趙無極 Dordogne
Lot 22
Zao Wou-Ki
(Zhao Wuji) 1921-2013
趙無極 Dordogne
Sold for HK$ 11,380,000 (US$ 1,457,270) inc. premium

Lot Details
Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji) 1921-2013, 趙無極 Dordogne Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji) 1921-2013, 趙無極 Dordogne
Zao Wou-Ki (Zhao Wuji) 1921-2013, 趙無極
Dordogne
1954

signed
signed, titled, and dated 54 on the reverse
with Applicat-Prazan (France) Gallery label on the reverse
oil on canvas

46 x 61cm (18 1/8 x 24in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Galerie Loeb, Paris
    Private Collection, France
    Sotheby's New York, 15 February 1989, Lot 28A
    Private Collection, Lyon
    Private Collection, Asia

    This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the Artist's work being prepared by the Foundation Zao Wou-Ki under the supervision of Madame Françoise Marquet with the help of Mr Yann Hendgen.

    This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, dated 7th April, 1989.

    多爾多涅
    油彩畫布
    1954年作

    簽名:Zao Wou Ki
    背面簽名:Zao Wou Ki Dordogne 54
    背面附法國Applicat-Prazan畫廊標籤

    來源
    巴黎Loeb畫廊
    法國私人收藏
    紐約蘇富比,1989年2月15日,拍品編號28A
    里昂私人收藏
    亞洲私人收藏

    此作將收錄於由梵思娃·馬凱及揚·亨德根正籌備編纂的《趙無極作品編年集》

    此作品附藝術家於1989年4月7日簽名之鑑定證書

    Zao Wou-ki once remarked, "It is through Paul Cézanne that I came to French art, through Paul Klee that I went back to abstract art". 1 Zao was in Bern, Switzerland, participating in a prints exhibition when he first came across the works of German artist Paul Klee in 1951. At that time, Zao primarily painted still-lifes, architecture, and landscapes. Upon seeing Klee's vast universes created with effortless yet spirited strokes, Zao was inspired. He felt a deep resonance with Klee's perspective on the world that emanated through his unique minimal style.

    Several paintings from 1949-1950 already show some influences of Klee: a disinterest of traditional perspective and the choice of a treatment of space by the juxtaposition of masses, games of colours with no link to reality, refinement of shapes and simplification of motives, "calligraphic" precise of the line. 2 At that time, Zao Wou-Ki feels tied up in a straitjacket. He wants to show things in another manner. "To invent a language that would escape the boundaries imposed by the selection of a subject." 3

    An excerpt from the exhibition catalogue of Zao Wou-Ki (1952) at Cadby-Birch Gallery, New York written by French poet and art critic, Henri Michaux, summarizes the spirit of Zao's works of this period with the following: "[Zao] reveals while obscuring, disconnects yet lingers; his strokes flow freely and tangibly portray his fanciful imagination. In an instant, the festive atmosphere unique to the Chinese countryside is animated amidst the symbols on the canvas, joyous and amusing." 4 This was the first critic on Zao's new era of using symbols.

    The artist spent two years refining his technique and style, tirelessly painting, discarding, and starting over again. This marked a pivotal period of Zao's career. By 1954, the artist has found a way to express his perspective through ancient Chinese script as the calligraphy characters come to life on his canvases. Zao gradually moved away from figurative painting and entered his period of abstraction. He recounted later in 1975, "In this time, my paintings became more difficult to decipher as the still life and landscape disappeared. I wish to work towards developing a complex imaginary calligraphy." 5

    With the present lot, Dordogne, painted in 1954, we see how Zao has broken through his previous limitations to present an entirely new language for abstraction, introducing Chinese calligraphy, signs, ancient bronze and oracle bone inscriptions as inspiration for his brushwork. Rather than purely imitating these ancient scripts, Zao strived to master the essence of its symbolism that represents the Eastern philosophy, and the harmony between man and nature. The title of the work references an area in the South of France, known especially for the ancient cave murals found at Lascaux. This cave was newly discovered in 1940 and the drawings are believed to date back to 15,000 B.C. As with oracle bone writing, the images were believed not to simply depict ancient life but to be a form of ritual communication with cosmic forces. Zao references this practices not only with his title but with his technique, offering an earthy, rich palette, grounded by hints of forest green, patches of rusty red and unexpected eruption of pure white. Zao's "writing" dances across the painting, receding and retreating, as if appearing through a mist. Drawing upon inspirations both ancient and contemporary, Zao discovered for himself a new path in the world of abstraction, one that captures the notion of the vibrant interconnected energy between man and nature, an unfolding that invokes Chinese notions of landscape painting even as they are rendered within the "western" technique of oil painting. With works like Dordogne, Zao reveals his deep resonance with his ancestors both East and West, and his distinct ability to fuse and transcend disparate traditions, geography, and time.

    1. Pierre Descargues, L'Art est vivant (Art is alive), Ecritures Editions, Paris, 2000, p. 282
    2. Yann Hendgen, Infinities of Zao Wou-ki, Taiwan, 2017, p. 66
    3. Zao Wou-ki & Francoise Marquet-Zao, Zao Wou-ki Self Portrait, Artist Publisher, 1988, p. 104
    4. Ibid, p. 102-103
    5. Françoise Marquet, "Chronologie de Zao Wou Ki", in A Retrospective of Zao Wou Ki, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, 1995, p.264: "Un peinture qui regarde autrement et un grand galligaphe."

    趙無極曾說道:「因為保羅‧塞尚(Paul Cézanne)使我進入了法國藝術、因為保羅‧克利(Paul Klee)使我走回了抽象繪畫... 」。1 1951年趙氏前往瑞士伯恩參加他的版畫展覽,在這一年他第一次看見了德國藝術家保羅‧克利的原作。這時期的趙氏繪畫風格以描繪靜物、建築、自然風景為主,當時看了克利自由的筆運和流暢的線條,趙氏為之振奮,他發現克利在小畫面中繪出遼闊無比的多種空間。畫中的物象用簡單的符號成形,其對空間的探索和趙氏的宇宙觀產生了共鳴。 

    「在1949-50年間,趙氏已經顯現出克利對他的影響。他忽略了傳統透視法,選擇以色塊並置以進行空間處理,不使用真實、細緻的圖形,簡化主體,書法化的精準線條。2此時的他,趙氏總覺得無法施展手腳。他想要用另一種方式來表述,想要『發明一種語言來打破因主體選擇而產生的束縛』。3」

    亨利‧米修(Henri Michaux),法國詩人畫家亦是趙氏的益友曾在1952年Cadby Birch 畫廊的展覽序言曾提到:「欲露還掩、似斷還連,線條隨性遊走,描繪出遐思的脈動,這是趙無極喜歡的。驀然間,畫面躍動著一片中國城鎮村特有的喜氣,又是歡騰愉悅,又是滑稽突梯,在一團符號中。」4這時是第一次趙氏收到符號性的評語。

    經過兩年的淬煉,不斷的重畫、毀棄,再重新來過,這個時期是趙無極繪畫風格重大改變的關鍵時刻。終於在54年,漸漸地趙氏的古樸字形開始活躍起來,趙氏的宇宙觀,畫中似甲骨文的字形生動地顯現開來。趙氏逐漸排除繪畫的敘事性,從具象進入抽象時期。他後來在1976年回憶著說:「在這個時期,我的繪畫變得難以辨識,靜物和花卉已經不存在。我希望朝著一種難以解讀的想象書寫文字發展。」5

    此拍品《多爾多涅》創作於1954年,在這個時期趙氏的創作有了新的突破。他運用煥新的手法,引用了中國書法、符號、青銅器和甲骨上的字形元素勾勒出抽象風格。他並非試圖模仿古文的字體,而是掌握住符號性的特徵,體現出東方哲學思想、人與自然相依相存的恢弘心境。作品名稱《多爾多涅》是法國西南部的省份名稱,此地有十分著名的拉斯科洞窟壁畫。洞穴在1940年時被人們發現,壁畫上的圖騰被認為是史前一萬五千年時期的創作。如同甲骨文的緣由,洞穴上的圖案不僅記錄下遠古生活場景,也是先人和宇宙萬物進行溝通儀式所留下的記錄。趙氏沿用了此地名稱為作品命名,在創作技法上則運用了豐富的大地色系,盎然的棕綠色遍及畫面,富有生命氣韻的朱紅色點綴其中,一道看似不經意的白色筆觸為作品添了幾分韻律感,最終在畫面上,活躍的趙氏「字體」飛舞在瀰漫的綠意色調中。
    透過史前文明和當時身處時代的啟發,趙氏為自已敞開了一扇通往抽象藝術的大門,探索人類敬畏自然及宇宙的關係,並在西式油畫技法上施展中國山水畫的手法。此作《多爾多涅》深刻表現趙氏思索東西方古人的宇宙觀和他跨越時空及文化、永恆、無限的藝術精髓。

    1. 皮耶賀‧德卡爾格《生活藝術》,巴黎,2000,頁282。
    2. 揚‧亨德根《無極之美-趙無極回顧展》,台灣,2017, 頁66 。
    3. 趙無極及法蘭斯娃絲‧馬凱《趙無極自畫像》,藝術家出版社,台灣,1992,頁104。
    4. 同上,頁102-103。
    5. 法蘭斯娃絲‧馬凱,Chronologie de Zao Wou Ki ,趙無極回顧展,高雄市立美術館,1995,頁264 : "Une peinture qui regarde autrement et un grand galligaphe." 。
Activities
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine:

25% on the first HK$2,000,000 of the hammer price
20% on the excess of HK$2,000,001 and up to HK$30,000,000 of the hammer price
12.5% on the excess of HK$30,000,001 of the hammer price

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Asian Contemporary Art
    Auction administration - Asian Contemporary Art
    Bonhams
    Work
    Work +852 2918 4321
    FaxFax: +852 2918 4320
Similar Items