Zao Wou-Ki was a painter and engraver who was born in Beijing in 1920. He acquired French nationality in 1964 and died in the Swiss town of Nyon in 2013. From a literary family, Wou-Ki entered the Hangzhou School of Fine Arts when he was fourteen and pursued a traditional academic curriculum, excelling in calligraphy. At the age of 27, he decided to pursue his studies in Paris. Initially influenced by Paul Klee, his painting soon moved towards abstraction while clearly showing affinities with the Abstract Expressionism he encountered during a visit to New York in the 1950s. Rapidly appreciated in Europe, a friend of Pierre Soulages, Joan Miró and Henri Michaux, Wou-Ki successfully combined his Oriental heritage with the artistic and poetic ambitions of Western lyrical abstraction. Fond of large formats, often in the form of polyptychs, his paintings were veritable explosions of shape and colour. In market terms, Zao Wou-ki’s works have been mostly exchanged in France, but his most spectacular paintings are usually offered in Hong Kong. In 2018, Christie’s Hong Kong sold his giant triptych June-October 1985 for over $65 million.

ArtMarketInsight

“In spite of the current geopolitical challenges, the market is confident” said Francis Belin, Head of Christie’s Asia-Pacific zone, after their programme of Hong Kong sales in November. In five days, Christie’s HK sales generated a total turnover of $337 million which included $159.7 million from its sales of 20th Century & Contemporary Art of […]

Extraordinary Cimabue discovery… “Proud as the century in which he lived, he (Cimabue) perfectly depicted the faces of the people that populate his works, especially those of the elderly, portraying them in a strong and sublime manner that later artists were unable to capture”. (L. Lanzi, Storia pittorica della Italia). CIMABUE (c.1240/50-c.1302) on sale at […]

Takis the magician (1925-2019) The art world lost two of its most illustrious representatives this summer: Carlos CRUZ-DIEZ (1923-2019) and then Vassilakis TAKIS (1925-2019)  who died at the age of 93. A nail floating motionless in space; a cylinder and a ball that seem to dance to the sound of a dreamlike music… works that seem to […]

Over the last couple of weeks, Post-War and Contemporary art has generated very good auction results in Paris. The French ‘stars’ of the market like Nicolas de Stael, Pierre Soulages and the German-French artist Hans Hartung all performed well, while the Sino-French artists posted superb results having become increasingly attractive to international collectors. Christie’s owes […]

The recent series of auction sales in Hong Kong – organised to coincide with Art Basel Hong Kong – generated more than satisfactory results, especially for Sotheby’s, which took its second best-ever sales total in its history. During the latest round of major prestige sales in Hong Kong, competition between bidders was particularly intense and […]