Marlborough is pleased to announce Zao Wou-Ki: Watercolor. Ink on Paper. Porcelain, an exhibition of works by the preeminent French Chinese-born artist. This exhibition will be Zao’s third show at Marlborough and the first at the gallery since his death in 2013 at the age of 93.
Celebrated for his oil paintings, Zao also worked extensively in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, ink, and porcelain. The exhibition focuses on these aspects of his artistic practice, presenting eighteen watercolors, eighteen ink on paper works, as well a selection of painted vases and vessels in porcelain, all created between 1970 and 2007. Brushstrokes—whether in color or black ink—become abstract image fields in which foreground and background are in constant flux. Each conveys an abstract visual event that is emotionally charged, turbulent in structure and striking in impact. In effect, Zao created his own nonrepresentational artistic language that transcends identifiable associations with symbols in writing and the natural world.
A part of the group of painters associated with the School of Paris, in particular, Pierre Soulages, Nicolas de Staël, Alberto Giacometti and Sam Francis, Zao Wou-Ki incorporated traditional Chinese painterly practice into more colorful European abstraction. It is this amalgam of traditional Chinese and Western cultures which informs Zao Wou-Ki’s art and places it, aesthetically and formally, in a unique and important position in the history of painting.