To mark the 100th birthday of painter Wu Guanzhong, an exhibition featuring 115 of his works will open at the Zhejiang Art Museum on August 9.
Wu is one of the founders of modern Chinese painting.
His oil painting “Zhouzhuang Town” was sold for a record-setting 197 million yuan (US$28.6 million) at a Hong Kong-based auction in 2016.
The family members of the master have donated his works to the museum for its permanent collection.
Wu intended for his paintings to be displayed in public museums, rather than to be sold to private collectors, as he wanted “to allow more people to appreciate them.”
Wu went to France to study Western painting in 1947 and returned to China in 1950. He passed away on June 25, 2010, aged 91.
Wu painted in different styles throughout his life.
In his middle age, he began to combine Western watercolors and Chinese ink painting techniques.
His distinctive painting style successfully assimilated Western techniques of abstraction, while being Chinese in outlook and modern in conception.
Wu depicted many white-wall, black-tile homes, emphasizing the close relationship between mankind and the natural environment.
His works embrace geometric beauty and rhythmic structure. People can gain an insight into an old, simpler Chinese way of life.
His works even inspired Chinese architects and designers. A few years ago, a Hangzhou architectural firm restored a village in Fuyang District in accordance with Wu’s paintings.
The village became a sensation on social media after the residential buildings were revamped and their geometric beauty enhanced.
The three-story homes reflected some of the finest traditions of iconic rural building with courtyards, similar to what Wu portrayed in his paintings.
The exhibition also features a painting themed on green hues and dotted with flowers.
It combines influences from fauvism and impressionism. The simple and plain strokes leave space for people to imagine a vigorous spring.
In his late years, Wu painted completely abstract works. Objective representation lost its importance, and Wu focused on the beauty of abstract forms, lines, colors and subtle ink tones.
Date: Through September 8, closed on Mondays
Address: Zhejiang Art Museum, 138 Nanshan Rd