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ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
FROM A PROMINENT ASIAN COLLECTION (LOT 1379) Viewing the Waterfall seamlessly integrates Zhang’s accomplished landscape painting with the emotive impact of his splashed colours. Painted in 1963 in Zhang’s tropical retreat outside São Paolo, the Garden of Eight Virtues, it is one of the finest works of the artist’s South American period. Dense, dark ink and deep-blues fill the lower register of the painting. We then emerge into a scene of scholars gazing at a distant waterfall, before ascending through dilute washes coloured mist from the mountain torrent. Above the waterfall the landscape is absorbed into a radiant surface of blue and green. The brightness of this middle section is eloquently balanced with the darkness of the ink-saturated field of blue pigment below. In this near luminous space only the feintest hint of the underlying landscape is visible. Zhang’s formal description dissolves into powerful abstraction. Finally, we arrive upon a distant mountain peak, with a solitary temple emerging from the splashed fields of colour. This transition between expressive colour and legible landscape characterises Zhang’s synthesis of his classical training with global artistic trends.Zhang’s was particularly invested in Viewing the Waterfall, which so deftly balances abstraction and description. When he relocated from Brazil to California in 1968, Viewing the Waterfall came with him, hanging in pride of place in Zhang’s Huanbi’an studio in Pebble beach.
ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)

Viewing the Waterfall

Details
ZHANG DAQIAN (1899-1983)
Viewing the Waterfall
Scroll, mounted on wooden board and framed, ink and colour on paper
134 x 68 cm. (52 ¾ x 26 ¾ in.)
Inscribed and signed, with one seal of the artist
Dated twelfth month, guimao year (1963)
Provenance
Christie’s Hong Kong, Fine Modern and Contemporary Chinese Paintings, 25 April 2004, Lot 41;
Previously from the Collection of Chai Sian Kwan
Literature
Chang Dai-chien, A Retrospective, The Center of Asian Art and Culture, San Francisco, 1972, pp.106-107.
The Catalogue of the Anniversary Exhibition of Chang Dai-chiens 90th Birthday, National Museum of History, Taiwan, May 1988, pl.66.
Zhang Daqian Jinian Wen Ji (A Memoir of Zhang Daqian), National Museum of History, Taiwan, 1988, p.13.
Essays of the Sympsium of Chang Dai-chiens Art (In Memory of Chang’s 90th Birthday), National Museum of History, Taiwan, 1988, p.108.
A Study in Zhang Daqian, National Museum of History, Taipei, December 1996, pl.50.
Dawn of a Sunny Century: 20th-Century Chinese Paintings from the Yitao Collection, Sun Museum, 2016, cover, pp.56–57.
Exhibited
San Francisco, Center of Asian Art and Culture, Chang Dai-chien, A Retrospective, 16 November - 17 December 1972.
Taipei, National Museum of History, The Anniversary Exhibition of Chang Dai-chiens 90th Birthday, June 1988.
Hong Kong, Sun Museum, Dawn of a Sunny Century: 20th-Century Chinese Paintings from the Yitao Collection, 16 May – 17 October, 2015.

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