Zao Wou-Ki

Zao Wou-Ki

Zao Wou-Ki

1921 - 2013

Born in Beijing in 1921, Zao Wou-Ki studied both western and traditional Chinese art at the School of Fine Arts of Hangzhou, later becoming a professor in the city of Hangzhou. In the early 1940s his work was exhibited in Chongjing and Shanghai, and around this time he also organized the first exhibition of modern Chinese painters at the National Historical Museum of Tchoung-King.

As a result of the political troubles and civil war that China was experiencing at the time, Zao Wou-Ki was forced to flee to Paris in 1948. There he absorbed international art in the city's museums, and studied lithography under Émile Othon-Friesz in 1949. His work is said to have been admired by artists such as Henri Michaux, Joan Miro, Fernand Léger and Picasso, and he formed lasting friendships with many artists living in Paris at the time, including Jean-Paul Riopelle, Pierre Soulages and Sam Francis.

While living in France, Zao Wou-Ki developed a style that was inspired by Chinese calligraphy and influenced by the work of Paul Klee. He became successful quite rapidly, and in addition to participating in an exhibition of Chinese painters in Paris, his work was shown at the Musée Cernuschi, the Salon de Mai and the Salons des Tuileries and d'Automne. Solo exhibitions of his work were held in Bern, Geneva and Paris.

Interested in expressing the unity of all things, from 1954 Zao Wou-Ki rejected figurative painting in favour of lyrical abstraction. Although he did not become a French citizen until 1964, Zao Wou-Ki represented France at the 40th International Exhibition at the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh in 1956, and at the Venice Bienniale in 1960. Other notable exhibitions took place at the Maeght Foundation in Saint-Paul-de-Vence and the San Franciso Museum of Art, as well as a retrospective show at the Montreal Museum of Fine Art and the Musee nationale des beaux-arts du Quebec in 1969.



Heffel's Top Results

Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
5.11.62
32 x 46in 81.3 x 116.8cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $400,000 - $600,000 CDN
Sold for:   $718,750 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's April 2007 1st Session auction on Saturday, April 28, 2007



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Untitled
21 1/2 x 25 3/4in 54.6 x 65.4cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $275,000 - $325,000 CDN
Sold for:   $310,500 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's April 2006 - 3rd Session auction on Saturday, April 29, 2006



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Chargement d'un cargo
14 7/8 x 18in 37.8 x 45.7cm
oil on fibre board

Estimate:  $60,000 - $90,000 CDN
Sold for:   $253,000 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2007 - 1st Session auction on Saturday, October 27, 2007



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Untitled
25 1/2 x 22in 64.8 x 55.9cm
oil on canvas

Estimate:  $55,000 - $65,000 CDN
Sold for:   $80,500 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2002 auction on Saturday, October 26, 2002



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Montagnes et soleil
11 7/8 x 17 7/8in 30.2 x 45.4cm
lithograph on paper

Estimate:  $5,000 - $7,000 CDN
Sold for:   $11,115 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2013 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, October 31, 2013



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Les voiliers
17 1/4 x 21 3/4in 43.8 x 55.2cm
lithograph on paper

Estimate:  $5,000 - $7,000 CDN
Sold for:   $10,530 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2013 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, October 31, 2013



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Sans titre
17 x 21 3/4in 43.2 x 55.2cm
etching and aquatint

Estimate:  $3,000 - $4,000 CDN
Sold for:   $4,680 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's April 2014 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, April 24, 2014



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Serenade
16 1/2 x 20 1/2in 41.9 x 52.1cm
colour etching and aquatint

Estimate:  $2,000 - $3,000 CDN
Sold for:   $4,130 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2014 - 2nd Session auction on Thursday, October 30, 2014



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Untitled
15 x 21 1/2in 38.1 x 54.6cm
lithograph on Rives paper

Estimate:  $3,000 - $4,000 CDN
Sold for:   $4,130 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2016 - 5th Session auction on Thursday, October 27, 2016



Record Zao Wou-Ki sale Zao Wou-Ki
Sans titre
26 8/5 x 19 1/4in 70.1 x 48.9cm
lithograph

Estimate:  $3,000 - $4,000 CDN
Sold for:   $4,095 CDN (premium included)
At Heffel's October 2013 - 1st Session auction on Thursday, October 31, 2013


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