ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
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ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Autumn Foliage on Verdant Hills

ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
Autumn Foliage on Verdant Hills
Scroll, mounted on woodboard and framed, ink and colour on gold paper
81 x 38.8 cm. (31 7⁄8 x 15 1⁄4 in.)
Inscribed and signed, with one seal of the artist and one dated seal of 1965
Dated autumn, yisi year (1965)
Further details
Zhang Daqian first visited the United States in early 1953. From his home in Argentina, he travelled to New York, where he rejoiced in reuniting with his good friends C. C. Wang (1907- 2003) and Wang Jiyuan (1893-1975). New York soon became a frequent stop for the artist, offering a welcome respite during crossings between South America and Asia. His first significant North American exhibition took place at New York’s Hirschl & Adler Galleries a decade after his first visit. By the mid-1960s, Zhang Daqian’s ground-breaking splashed colour and ink landscapes resonated with New York’s sophisticated audience. The original collector couple met the artist through his friend Wang Jiyuan. Important early supporters of Zhang Daqian in the cosmopolis, the couple were keen patrons of the arts, active members of the Asia Society in New York and committed to the preservation of architecture. The couple hosted Zhang Daqian at their residence throughout the 1960s and when his retrospective opened in 1972, they travelled to San Francisco for the occasion. The artist had dedicated paintings and inscribed exhibition catalogues to the couple, standing as a testament to the friendship between Zhang Daqian and the collectors. The paintings have been treasured by the family since.

Brought to you by

Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯)
Carmen Shek Cerne (石嘉雯) Vice President, Head of Department, Chinese Paintings

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Lot Essay

Zhang Daqian painted Autumn Foliage on Verdant Hills in 1965, in which he stamped a seal inscribed with “1965, fifty-four (th year of the Republic)” in the upper right-hand corner. This seal, which bears both the Western and Republican years is a unique artist seal reflecting Zhang’s eagerness to forge together Western and Chinese artistic sensibilities. In the early 1960s, Zhang Daqian pioneered his iconic splashed ink technique; and through tireless creative experiments, his splashed ink and colour paintings reached full maturity by 1965. A spectacular display of blue, green and gold, Autumn Foliage on Verdant Hills is painted in azurite and malachite, two mineral pigments that give Zhang’s splashed ink paintings distinct, vibrant blue and green hues. A lone tree with foliage depicted in a few deliberate strokes juxtaposes the abstract composition and brings an autumn sentiment to its viewers.

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