Some artists provoke an instant emotion when you see their work and this is what happens in the new exhibition of “Inks and watercolors” by Zao Wou-Ki at galerie kamel mennour in Paris and in London. Just when the beautiful show at Museum of Modern Art closed, the galerist brings out miraculous works from the early times in Paris (1948) to 2009. After Daniel Marchesseau’s exceptional show at Fondation Martigny three years ago, this is a poetic and charming reminder of how talented the artist who studied at Hangzhou University, was.
When he was young painter in China, Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013) found information about European art with Matisse and Picasso reproductions. Using Emptiness as a dynamics in his art, he kept a strong Chinese identity and started using ink again as a medium in the 1970’s. He has been honored by the Emperor of Japan with the Imperial Prize and made a member of the French Académie des Beaux Arts. His works are present in all major Museums around the world and his widow, art curator Françoise Marquet, is a vigilant keeper of his name and art.
What I particularly liked in the show was the contrast between black and white inks and very colorful watercolors from the end of his life. There is a brilliant triptych screen in the first room of the gallery on rue Saint André des Arts. The sun coming through the glass roof brought a true moment of magic during the opening party.
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