Description: Chinese ink-wash, or splashing-ink scroll painting depicting lotus in blossom by Zhang Daqian, inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist. Double matted on pale-creme silk before darker reddish-brown border.
Zhang Daqian: (18991983) was one of the best-known and most prodigious Chinese artists of the twentieth century. Originally known as a traditionalist painter, by the 1960s he was also renowned as a modern impressionist and expressionist painter. In addition, he is regarded as one of the most gifted master forgers of the twentieth century. Throughout his career, Zhang Daqian explored different ways of depicting lotus. Here, he has extended the expressive potential of bravura ink-play pioneered by Xu Wei (15211593) and Zhu Da (16261705) by adding representational details to abstract patterns of color wash to create an evocative, atmospheric image. He dedicated this work to Lin Yutang with a poetic inscription that Zhang referred to as his "splashed-ink" style, which he developed in the mid- 60s. While this style strongly suggests inspiration from Abstract Expressionism, Zhang never entirely abandoned figuration. He interpreted his formal eclecticism by invoking Laozi: procure the essence, and transcend the phenomena. This state is hard to attain. Images barely emerge out of an elusive haze. This lotus, which reveals itself through a grayish-blue nebula of saturated color.
Dimensions: Dimension: 93-1/2" L x 23-1/2" W (painting): 41" L x15-1/2" W
Medium: paper, ink, watercolor
Date: 20th C.
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