Melissa Walt, New Haven, 2016.
Hardcover, Hardcover, 184 pp., 141 color illustrations, 9.25 x 11.75 x 1 inches.
The Chinese-French painter Zao Wou-Ki (1920–2013) developed a distinctive abstract style blending the visual poetry of Chinese painting and calligraphy with European pictorial traditions. This stunning volume presents a richly woven narrative of the artist’s life and work. Reintroducing Zao’s work to a North American audience, the authors make a substantial contribution to scholarship on transnational art movements in the 20th and 21st centuries. Their essays consider the reception of Zao’s work in the United States; his engagement with post-war abstraction; and his exploration of various artistic media. Zao Wou-Ki lived and worked at the intersection of two cultures. He blended Chinese calligraphic and ink painting aesthetics with European printmaking and abstract oil painting, becoming one of the earliest trans-cultural painters of the 20th century. His legacy reverberates in the global success of Chinese artists today.
Melissa Walt is a research associate and Ankeney Weitz is Ellerton M. and Edith K. Jetté Professor of Art at Colby College. Michelle Yun is senior curator of modern and contemporary art at the Asia Society.