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Zao Wou-Ki

Melissa Walt, Ankeney Weitz, and Michelle Yun

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The Chinese-French painter Zao Wou-Ki (1920–2013) developed a distinctive abstract style blending the visual poetry of Chinese painting and calligraphy with European pictorial traditions. This stunning volume presents a richly woven narrative of the artist’s life and work. Reintroducing Zao’s work to a North American audience, the authors make a substantial contribution to scholarship on transnational art movements in the 20th and 21st centuries. Their essays consider the reception of Zao’s work in the United States; his engagement with post-war abstraction; and his exploration of various artistic media. Zao Wou-Ki lived and worked at the intersection of two cultures. He blended Chinese calligraphic and ink painting aesthetics with European printmaking and abstract oil painting, becoming one of the earliest trans-cultural painters of the 20th century. His legacy reverberates in the global success of Chinese artists today.

Distributed for the Colby College Museum of Art and the Asia Society Museum

Exhibition Schedule:

Asia Society Museum

Colby College Museum of Art

Melissa Walt is a research associate and Ankeney Weitz is Ellerton M. and Edith K. Jetté Professor of Art at Colby College. Michelle Yun is senior curator of modern and contemporary art at the Asia Society.


Asia Society Museum

Colby College Museum of Art

ISBN: 9780300220186
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Colby College Museum of Art and the Asia Society Museum
184 pages, 9 1/4 x 11 3/4
141 color illus.
Nam June Paik

Becoming Robot

Edited by Melissa Chiu and Michelle Yun; With contributions

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