Catalogue entry

Zao Wou-Ki born 1921

T00182 Avant l'Orage (Before the Storm) 1955

Inscribed 'Zao Wou-Ki [in Chinese characters] | 55' b.r. and 'ZAO WOU-KI | Avant l'orage | 55' on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 21 1/8 (72.5 x 53.5)
Purchased from Henri Creuzevault (Grant-in-Aid) 1958
Prov: M. de Monbrison, Paris (purchased from the artist); with Henri Creuzevault, Paris
Exh: Collections d'un Amateur et de son Fils, Henri Creuzevault, Paris, September-October 1957 (no catalogue)

The artist writes (letter of 23 January 1974): 'During the period 1953-1956, I gave titles to my pictures, but only after they were finished. I find that they are no longer justified by my conception of creation and since 1967 I have only given my pictures the date as reference.

'As for the motifs of my paintings, during the period between 1953-1956 I was influenced by archaic Chinese signs, then at the end of 1956 I began to abandon this procedure for a freer method. I can say that I have never had any intention to make a Chinese landscape or painting; if my painting looks like a landscape, this is completely accidental, as for the Chinese influence, it is, I think, in spite of myself.'

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, pp.769-70, reproduced p.769