Enchantement de la lumière (Enchanting Brightness)

130 x 195 cm. (51 1/8 x 76 3/4 in.)
Anon. Sale, Ravenel, 4 December 2005, lot 42
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

The authenticity of the artwork has been confirmed by Fondation Chu Teh-Chun, Geneva
Chu Teh-Chun: OEuvres récentes, exh. cat., Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris, France, 1998 (illustrated, p. 48-49; illustrated in detail, inside front spread, outside front panel, inside back spread, outside back panel).
Xing Xiaozhou, Nathalie Prat-Couadau (ed.), Chu Teh-Chun: 1987-2000, exh. cat., Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China, 2000(illustrated, p. 72-73).
Pierre Cabanne, Chu Teh-Chun, Editions Flammarion, Paris, France, 2000 (illustrated, plate 84, p. 198).
Géraldine Pfeffer-Levy, Chu Teh-Chun, Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris, France, 2000 (illustrated, p. 252-253).
Patrick T. F Lin, Shih Li-Jen (ed.), L‘ecoute de L‘univers: 2003 Asia Exhibition of Art Master Chu Teh-Chun, exh. cat., Providence University Art Centre, Taichung, Taiwan, 2003 (illustrated, p. 59-60).
Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris, France, Chu Teh-Chun, 1998.
Shanghai, China, Shanghai Museum, Chu Teh-Chun: 1987-2000, September – November 2000.
Taichung, Taiwan, Providence University Art Centre, L‘ecoute de L‘univers: 2003 Asia Exhibition of Art Master Chu Teh-Chun, August – September 2003. This exhibition later travelled to Taichung, Taiwan, Modern Art Gallery, September 2003.


Shanshan Wei
Shanshan Wei




In 1990, Chu Teh-Chun moved to a larger studio in Vitry-sur-Seine, just outside of Paris. Now able to work in a high-ceiling studio surrounded by large windows allowing natural light to take over as main source of lighting, he gradually started experimenting with large formats. Playing with vast surfaces helped him push the boundaries of his language and exploration. As his support grew bigger, so did his material: he used wide and supple brushes, which provide a multitude of options to work with colour depth and composition. The 1990s also come as the years of maturity and international recognition for Chu who started exhibiting regularly in Asia since his first important retrospective in 1987 in Taiwan.

Light and colour are the most sensitive painting elements in Chu Teh-Chun's art. When elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, during his acceptance speech he stated: “The colours and contours in my composition are not serendipitous. They work in unison to achieve the same goal: summon light and evoke a sense of image and rhythm.” Chu was very particular when it came to the question of colours in his paintings. He once commented: “I never paint at night because under artificial light, colours become unnatural.”

Enchantement de la lumière (Lot 20), dated 1997, breathes with an exceptional rhythmic movement on a monumental canvas which allows it to spread with great amplitude. Chu was almost 80 years old in 1997 but was still at his creative peak, and his exploration of the world of abstraction had matured. Chu often referred to his paintings as the visual depiction of music, where the notes translate into a medley of colourful dots intertwined onto a grand background of wind instruments. Unlike the artist’s early works featuring dramatic lighting that recalls the works of Rembrandt, Enchantement de la lumière features colourful specks of light dancing on the surface bearing closer resemblance to the shifting light in Impressionist paintings. Two large black strokes gush out of the dark half of the painting onto a pale and illuminated ground. The very densely covered right part of the composition concentrates high amounts of intensity like a dark mass and shoots out energy-filled lines and colours in a symphonic splash.

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