The key to lyrical abstraction: Zao Wou-Ki!

Published on : 16 April 20212 min reading time
Considered the pioneer of abstraction, Zao Wou-Ki is a Chinese artist whose works materialise the meeting of Western and Eastern visual styles. His aesthetic is best explained by a combination of the abstract method borrowed from the West and the Chinese concept of Tao.

Meeting Zao Wou-Ki

Zao Wou-Ki was born in Beijing in 1920. Through the influence of his father, Wou-Ki developed a considerable admiration for history and classical literature in his youth. Such explorations reinforced his passion for Chinese calligraphy. After his family noticed Zao’s affection for art, he entered the Hangzhou Academy of Art. After graduating, Wou-Ki stayed there as a teacher.

During his work as a teacher, Zao was exposed to the works of great modern artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani. It was these legendary painters and their work that influenced Zao Wou-Ki’s achievements and enabled him to develop his own style. Zao Wou-Ki moved to Paris in 1948. His works sell for millions of euros but some are reproduced by new generations. To guarantee originality, it is imperative in this case to make an estimation of Zao Wou-Ki’s work.

Abstract Paintings and Lithographs

Although his inspirations were found in Western styles, Zao Wou-Ki’s works were very strong with Eastern elements such as oracle bone writings or writings on bronze objects from Chinese cultures. At best, these mysterious symbols were barely distinguishable by Westerners, but served Zao as key elements that let him enter the chaotic world of abstraction. 

Worldwide recognition

Some art experts claim that Zao Wou-Ki was a Chinese painter simply influenced by Western conceptions of abstract painting. While there is some truth to their assertion, it should not be forgotten that Zao was a pride of the Western scene. His paintings are highly regarded by Europeans and Americans alike. His first exhibitions in France were praised by artists like Joan Miró and Picasso. So, wherever you are, it is now possible to request an online valuation of Zao Wou-Ki’s artworks.

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