Paysage au soleil [Sunny Landscape]
Zao Wou-Ki moved to Paris soon after World War II, previously having trained in art and traditional Chinese painting techniques at the China Academy of Art. Influenced by other post-war painters like Paul Klee, Zao combined European abstractionism with Chinese ink painting and calligraphy.
Zao’s printmaking was often closely tied to his painting practice. In Paysage au Soleil (right), for example, we see clear similarities to an oil on canvas painting created one year earlier. Of engraving, and its contrast to oil painting, Zao said: “...I was interested in researching another mode of expression. Unlike painting, engraving permits a large number of variations.” Zao used prints like these three to experiment with the vast variations of composition and color permitted by the medium.
-Kendra Weisbin, Associate Curator of Education, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2017)