In 1969, Zao was asked by René de Solier about his favourite colours. His answer was: "I love all colours. I have no favourite colours. I am sensitive, above all to vibrations." As Jean-Marie Leymarie wrote in his 1978 monograph, "This brief reply is one of the keys to his paintings and to its mysterious radiance. (...) In Zao Wou-Ki's eyes, therefore, colours are not substances but radiations, nor are they opposed to the graphic work. They give light to space and describe the flow of light." (J. Leymarie, Zao Wou-Ki, New York, 1979, p. 44)
The wet-on-wet painting technique creates a fluid energy in the work, it results in an elaborate space evoking the elements of nature. Zao Wou-Ki sought to express an inner state aligning with the mantra of Shitao, a Chinese landscape painter and poet during the early part of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), who focused on subjective perspective and negative space. Vert et Violet reflects beautifully these influences that Zao Wou-Ki repeatedly renewed during his lifetime.
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