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Zao Wou-Ki

(b. 1921)


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(1921– )

Chinese painter, born in Beijing, active in France. He had his first exhibition in his native country in 1940 and was already established as professor of drawing at Hangzhou University when he left for France in 1948 with the ambition of establishing himself as a painter in Paris. His lithographs came to the notice of Henri Michaux, who introduced him to his dealer. Zao Wou-Ki assimilated the influence of Paul Klee, as well as leading figures of the post-war *École de Paris such as Vieira da Silva, but combined this with a distinctively Chinese calligraphic manner and a range of tones suggesting vistas of mist and marsh. He spent time in New York working alongside Abstract Expressionists such as Gottlieb and Kline. Under their influence he worked on a larger scale without an easel. He returned to China for the first time in 1983 for an exhibition of his work at the Beijing Museum of Fine Art.


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