Depicting the bursting vitality of an early spring mountain, Vibrancy of Mountains
is a six-foot masterpiece exemplifying Wu Guanzhong’s celebrated abstract style in 1980s, rendered in dynamic colourful lines and fleeting vivid dots. Having outlined the contours in bold ink, the artist deployed light patches of ink wash erratically on the slope to create the light and shadow contrast between snow-blanketed surface and crags revealed under the melting snow. The artist then allowed the spirited lines in vermilion and emerald, choreographed by the undulating relief, dance rhythmically between the splatters of vibrant hues across the icy layer, inviting audience to trace the movement and end on the symphony of lines and dots at the summit. Conveying aesthetic formalism entirely by abstract means, Vibrancy of Mountains
is an exceptional example showing no recognizable features of huts and trees – elements commonly deployed as the linkage between his creation and the realistic world by the artist in his landscape paintings.
Later in late 1980s, the artist applied similar techniques and composition to execute A Mountain of Colours. While it also illustrates the vigor of mountain with bouncing lines and powerful dots, this intended depiction of summer mountains deployed no light ink washes, hence undertaking a more festive tone. Works comparable to Vibrancy of Mountains, incorporating both the serenity and dynamism of early spring mountains, is rarely seen afterwards.