Chinese abstract artist Chu Teh-Chun (1920–2014) – whose work is included in notable collections such as Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, Shanghai Museum of Art, Musée des beaux-arts André Malraux, Le Havre, France, among many others – is the subject of a museum-quality exhibition presented at Waddington Custot, Cork Street, London, until 11 November 2017.
Articulated around Chu’s works on paper which reflect his passion for ancient Tang and Song dynasty poetry and calligraphy, the exhibition demonstrates Chu Teh-Chun’s mastery and abstract breakthrough, which contributed significantly to the Chinese modernist movement in France.
Chu moved to Paris in 1955 and, being particularly moved by the impasto and dynamic brushstrokes of Nicolas de Staël’s work, began to reassess his own relationship with calligraphy, use of colours and materials. He developed his own stylistic language, mixing his calligraphic skills with paint, to create works which delicately merge both practices and media.
The exhibition sheds light on the breadth of Chu Teh-Chun’s oeuvre and suggests that, rather than adopting the ideals of Western painting, Chu’s presence in Europe encouraged him to push the envelope further and embrace the striking elements of the Chinese artistic tradition and Nicolas de Staël’s spirit.
Image: Chu Teh-Chun, Untitled, 1970, oil on paper laid down on canvas, 19 3/4 x 25 5/8 in 50 x 65 cm Copyright Waddignton Custot