• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12517

    Asian 20th Century Art (Day Sale)

    29 May 2016, Convention Hall

  • Lot 373

    WALASSE TING (DING XIONGQUAN, Chinese, 1929-2010)

    Sunday Morning Breakfast

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    WALASSE TING (DING XIONGQUAN, Chinese, 1929-2010)
    Sunday Morning Breakfast
    titled, signed, dated and inscribed ‘Sunday Morning Breakfast Ting 86 Amsterdam’ (on the reverse)
    acrylic and oil pastel on canvas
    124.5 x 190 cm. (49 x 74 ¾ in.)
    Painted in 1986


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department


    In 1958 Walasse Ting left Paris for the art world of New York. There he became friends with Sam Francis and Joan Mitchell, two artists often praised as representatives of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists.

    Influences of American action painting, Art Informel, and the European avant-garde CoBrA Group can be seen in Untitled (Lot 441) and Too Much Sunshine (Lot 372) painted in 1964 and 1970 respectively.

    In Too Much Sunshine, the spontaneous action of the frenzied drips and dabs of paint fill the canvas with a fountain of spring and sunny color which became a signature style of Ting's, which he would continue to use in the backgrounds of his figurative paintings, for example, Sunday Morning Breakfast (Lot 373), full with confidence and passion.

    In the 1970s, the three held a joint exhibition at the Carnegie Institute's Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, named by Walasse Ting "The Fresh Air School," in which the beauty of the natural world was the source of inspiration for each of the three. Sam Francis, because of his experiences in Japan, produced works imbued with an extra Eastern ink-wash quality; the natural variations of Joan Mitchell's abstraction found their counterpart in Walasse Ting's work, which also explored the use of color and his understanding of line and space. Each of the three brought added depth to this artistic movement through the quality of their individual work.

    Ting's Untitled, from 1964, was one of the works shown at the Fresh Air School exhibition. Ting develops the work in ink-wash lines produced with strong, sure brushstrokes, through which he expresses the aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy with great ease and facility in vibrant, acrylic colors. His large areas of brilliant color create powerful visual impact as he builds a composition full of movement and energy. Ting's handling of drip and splashed-ink techniques produces highly expressive splashes of color, for a work bursting with life and a highly organic feel. This artist, the "thief of fresh flowers" (a risqué reference to his paintings of both flowers and women), here again successfully entices viewers with bold, expressive forms arising directly from the heart.

    After 15 years of abstract painting, Ting's interest in the body and his exploration of sexuality led him back to figuration in the 1970's. In his reevaluation of the notion of the female body, Ting's work became even more subjective, personal, and radical in his expression of emotion and gender relations.

    Ting likes to divide a composition into brilliantly colored blocks. In I love Red Sunset (Lot 374), it is as if the woman has submerged into the background, becoming the picture frame hanging on the wall. There is also a cat, a parrot, flowers, some/a watermelon and a cricket. There is also a cushion rendered in sharp red on the lower left, all demonstrating the concept of space he created through color. In A Woman and Two Horses (Lot 375), orange, pink and red are used to position the woman and two horses into the space. The yellow parrots appearing in the middle created a unique sense of space between the foreground and background. The colorful and abundant flowers in Woman with Flowers (Lot 375) spread across the composition, forming a sophisticated sense of space in the otherwise flat watercolor painting. Ting achieved great success through exploring the expression with color. Two Women with Horse and Parrot (Lot 440) is an ink painting. The simplicity in its color further demonstrated his exceptional mastery of the composition of space.

    Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
    Private Collection, New York, USA