Three Chinese Painters of the 20th C.
Li Huayi (b. 1948) is my exact contemporary
who left the Mainland in the early 80's and moved to northern
California where he seems to be having quite a career
in American museums and galleries.
Kenneth Baker, of the San Francisco chronicle, wrote:
So Li's paintings challenge viewers accustomed to
contemporary art to see them as untainted by irony.
Their sustained investment of skill
and labor persuades us that most of his works lack ironic intent.
Can we accept them as marvels of self-justifying technical
performance? Few shows in memory have confronted us with the
problem so powerfully.
OK -- he's not ironic,
OK -- he recalls an earlier style of painting
what's here to cherish ?
The great, monumental power sometimes found
in Sung landscape
just isn't there.
He just doesn't have a sense of spaciousness.
But this tree clinging to the cliff is touching,
and very atmospheric,
(a detail that's better than the painting as a whole)
(looks like a dead cat -- doesn't it ?)
Zhao Chunxiang (1910-1991) comes from an earlier generation
arrived in NY in 1958
where he rather obviously styled himself
an abstract expressionist
One reviewer questioned whether there
was any Chinese left in him at all --
but think that there is ---
I just don't feel any of the 1950's American anger
or disgust --
but something more like a wail of cosmic despair
or if it's got anger,
it's anger turning inward
at being so ineffectual
here's my favorite,
T'ang Haywen (1927-1991)
he turned to this landscape format
later in life
Prior to that,
he was a typical
artiste de Paris
(above is a self portrait)
(his parents took him there as they were fleeing the
Japanese invasion, and he seems to have led the life of a
trust fund child)
The artist had no agent, no representative. Not that admirers didn't
try to help him. Curators, scholars, even other painters offered to
showT'ang how to market himself. But he always managed to gently
More of his work can be found here
Whatever the painter's intention,
I insist on looking at this as
a moody, luscious
This was one lonely, dreamy guy
Here's a piece off the web.
It seems like the perfect pattern
for the walls or table of a high-end ice cream parlor.
(it looks like my favorite flavor,
Graeters chocolate chip,
spilled, melting, and smeared on the floor-
but in a very artful way !)
there was one more painter
in the Art Institute of Chicago Exhibit,
(Wucius Wong (b. 1936) - lives in Hong Kong)
but four is an unlucky number in Chinese.
both of the above are details of a very large
ink drawing that has something to do with mountains.
I could see how this piece might grow on you
(indeed, it seems like something is growing on it)
It would be the perfect decor for a doctor's waiting room,
where the patient can exhaust all of her anxiety
by diving into the unlimited details.
It's the kind of painting that requires a captive audience.