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Zao Wou-ki Art

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Zao Wou-Ki (1921 - 2013) began painting in oil and began studying at the art academy of Hangzhou at the tender age of 14. From 1941 to 1947 he worked at the Academy as a professor and showed his work in one of his first solo exhibitions. Wou-Ki was strongly influenced by proponents of European Modernity. At the age of 27, he immigrated to Paris, where he became acquainted with Alberto Giavometti, Henri Michaux, Maria Elena Vieira da Silva and Joan Miró. He attended courses at the "Grande Chaumière" and learned lithography. Just a year after his training, he held his first Paris solo exhibition at the Creuze gallery and was followed by numerous others throughout Europe. His greatest influencer was Paul Klee. The artist turned towards a synthesis between European Art informel and Eastern calligraphy as he increasingly moved away from representational painting. His poetic and abstract images evoke scenic-cosmic associations. He received French citizenship in 1964. In 1965 his works were shown at the Folkwang museum in Essen in a first large retrospective. In the 1970s the artist repeatedly went to China and produced a series of paintings in ink following Chinese traditions. In 1953 Wou-Ki designed the set for the ballet by R. Petit "Die Perle", followed in 1955by a Carnegie Award in Pittsburgh. Wou-Ki traveled around the USA in 1957/58. He produced art that was distributed mainly as framed Zao Wou-Ki art. Other finishing options were also available. As a friend of A. Malraux and H. Michaux, he also contributed to many illustration projects. During the 1990s he received several honorary doctorates and his works were shown at large international exhibitions.
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