Flowers in Vase

Wu Dayu
Circa 1950


Wu Dayu belongs to the first generation of Chinese artists to study abroad in France, and is one of the founders of modern Chinese painting, known as the “father of Chinese abstract art.” Wu Dayu combined schools of modern Western painting with traditional Chinese painting styles, and still lifes depicting flowers in a vase were a recurring subject matter throughout his entire life and serve as a major leitmotiv reflecting evolutions in his artistic style. The brushstrokes in Flower in Vase are both pure and expressive, blurring the border between realism and abstraction, and this work bears important witness both to the artist’s stylistic shift to abstraction in the 1950s as well as to the nascent stage of modern Chinese abstract art.

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