Details & Cataloguing

Liu Guosong (Liu Kuo-sung)
B. 1932
signed in Chinese and dated 1967
ink and watercolour on paper in three parts
139.5 by 221cm.; 54 7/8 by 87in.
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Nordness Gallery, New York

Catalogue Note

A founder and continuing leader of the contemporary Chinese ink painting movement, Liu Guosong was born in China's Anhui province in 1932. He settled in Taipei at age seventeen where he was trained in both Chinese and Western art at the National Taiwan Normal University. During his youth Liu was very influenced by Western styles, such as Impressionism, and painted mostly in oils.

By 1958, the discovery of Jackson Pollock lead to a great breakthrough in his style when he attempted to combine Abstract Expressionism with traditional Chinese ink painting, progressively abandoning Western materials in favor of traditional Chinese brush, ink and paper.

The three lots proposed in this sale all date from the late 1960s and are typical of this very personal style developed by Liu Guosong at that time. Although evocative of traditional landscapes, the painting style is wholly different. Very dense localised ink splashes and dark forms suggest mountains and peaks, whereas the unpainted areas hint at water or an all-enveloping mist. The work's texture is also very characteristic of Liu's signature style: he uses coarse cotton paper on which he applies ink and pigments before tearing selected fibers from it, creating stunning lightning effects.

Contemporary Art