Artist biography

Zao Wou-Ki born 1921

School of Paris painter in oils and watercolour, lithographer and etcher. Born in Peking. Studied from 1935-40 at the School of Fine Arts in Hangchow, where he was taught both traditional Chinese and modern Western styles; afterwards assistant professor there 1941-7. Influenced by reproductions in books of late 19th and 20th century European art and painted pictures inspired by Picasso and Matisse. Emigrated to Paris in 1948, visited museums and galleries, and attended the Grande Chaumière. First European one-man exhibition at the Galerie Creuze, Paris, 1949. Made delicate, fantastic landscapes of Venice, Amsterdam, Paris, etc., in a Klee-like style for several years, then began about 1953 to paint mysterious semi-abstract pictures closer to the Chinese landscape tradition. His graphic work includes lithographs for André Malraux's La Tentation de l'Occident 1962 and several other books. Took French nationality in 1964. Lives in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.769