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WU DAYU (1903-1988) Colour Rhymes - 29 oil on canvas, laid on wood panel 53 x 38 cm. (20 7/8 x 15 in.)
Christie's Taipei, 23 April 2000, Lot 10
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Lin & Keng Gallery, Wu Dayu-Master of Modern Chinese Painting, Taipei, Taiwan, 1996 (illustrated, pp. 80-81).
National Museum of History, Exhibition of Wu Dayu Paintings, exh. cat., Taipei, Taiwan, 2001 (illustrated, p. 124).
Shanghai Education Press, Shanghai Oil & Sculpture Academy-Wu Dayu, Shanghai, China, 2003 (illustrated, p. 113).
Lin & Keng Gallery Inc., Wu Dayu, Taipei, Taiwan, 2006 (illustrated, p.95).
Taipei, Taiwan, National Museum of History, Exhibition of Wu Dayu Paintings, 9 March-8 April 2001.

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Lot Essay

Observing mood of his environment and the nature, Wu Dayu transferred its temperament to his canvas and interweaved it with his exploration on color aesthetics. Investigating on color theory, the complementary palette and the juxtaposition of it, Wu illustrated the feeling of spontaneity and suffused the melancholia of Abstract Expressionism, willfully referencing to the theoretical imperative of Cubism by analyzing, re-assembling objects in abstracted form to ultimately, cultivate his Taoist principles for humanity and the cosmos.

Ambiguous in its representation, Colour Rhymes-29 (Lot 1067) cites a synthesis of Georges Braque and Wassily Kandinsky, an effect that is austerely beautiful in its loose and deconstructed form in wistful, colourful poetics. Brushstrokes are curiously vitalizing in its spontaneity with textural interpolation conducted in surging colours of Prussian blue and imperial yellow which often appear in Wu's canvases. An apt reverberation of Wu's cultural roots and the philosophy he sought after, yellow and blue are colours of immortality, nature, renewal, vitality and neutrality. While decidedly abstract for subjective reading, Wu firmly maintained his integrity and identity within the swirling waves and horizontal and vertical strokes; an act that reflects his conscious, absolute and clear search for existential truth and inner beauty. The effects of orderly lines on the right side of Colour Rhymes-29 spares the eye for a momentary pictorial break from the bustling activity of rich contrasts of light and shade, cool and warm hues of orange and blue on the left. The coexistence of these two forms and the textural opposition in one space amplifies the exuberance and ephemeral phenomena of nature as the colours and shapes contract, sprawl, tussle, thrust and swathe with one another, destabilizing our vision with flashes of yellow emerging between the rapid and intrepid brush strokes of black and blue. The balance of dry wispy layers of white and concentrated mass of solid hues load the abstract landscape with drama and emotion, theatrically representing the world of elemental forces and the wonders of nature. Wu Dayu had a deep, personal response to nature as he considered "painting is the artist's response to nature and is a fleeting glimpse of the truth of the universe". He cultivated his mind and emotion as the foundation of his creation, believing that it is the absolute understanding of one self that clarifies and determines the aesthetic vision, reflecting on Taoist principles that through the awareness of himself, the man gains knowledge of the Universe.

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