Chu Teh-Chun, 1977.9.27
‘The lineage of abstract painting founded by Kandinsky is based on Cezanne’s aesthetic theory and the deconstruction and reconstitution of form in cubism, which it turned into a musical expressionism. Western painters in this lineage have produced many masterpieces of abstract painting. I am from the East, and our cultural foundations are rich in the DNA of abstract form. For example, our calligraphy is an abstract art. Even in representational landscape painting, the painter does not sketch a landscape from life, but rather internalises nature and manifests his or her own perception of it in brushwork. Chinese literati painting is a fusion of poetry, calligraphy, and painting. If we are to forge a new path of our own in abstract painting, we must fuse Kandinsky’s abstraction with our cultural DNA of expressive abstraction.’
Chu Teh- Chun, excerpt from The Biography of Chu Teh-Chun by Zu Wei
Chu Teh-Chun made the above penetrating observations in a 1997 with a journalist from European Daily of Paris. Evidently he had unique insights into how to forge a new path in abstract painting. Since 1958, he developed a deeply personal style and an oeuvre of intellectually rich abstract paintings by fusing Western colours, Chinese calligraphic lines, and the atmosphere of Chinese landscape painting. His paintings are infused with the effable moods of classical Chinese poetry and a deep appreciation for the creativity of the universe. In 1969, during a visit to the Rembrandthuis Museum in the Netherlands, Chu Teh-Chun was impressed and inspired by Rembrandt’s use of dramatic contrast of light and dark. He then began to incorporate light effects in his explorations of colour and calligraphic lines. His works from this period tend to dramatize light sources with strong chiaroscuro and to feature intense colours by turns representing blinding flames and subtle illumination. 1977.9.27 (Lot 1023) is typical of Chu’s work of this period.
Here Chu Teh-Chun’s broad brush runs freely against a brown and orange background to create an expansive space. He translates the classical Chinese ‘five colours of ink’ in oil pigments, creating a rich variety of tones within a narrow chromatic range. Within the colours, black lines by turns dash within inhibitions and zigzag with the agility of a dancer. The variations in force and momentum are reminiscent of Chinese calligraphy, embodying both the expressionism of Su Shi’s cursive script, the substance and density of seal script and stone and metal inscriptions, and Bada Shanren’s expressive carefreeness. The orange-red passage in the middle bursts out of the darkness and commands our attention. Recalling fire and magma, it is an unforgettable symbol of vitality.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale