Modern Chinese art from the Sullivan collection

Abstraction 1989
As ever, I enjoyed the Ashmolean’s latest selection of modern Chinese art. This display commemorates the art historian Michael Sullivan, who died last year and bequeathed to the museum the collection of over 400 works that he had built with his wife Khoan.

Zhang Daqian is well-represented, from his Figure of a Lady Reading a Poem (1935), to flower paintings such as Old Plum Branch with Young Shoots (1965) and Lotus (1978), to landscapes such as Blue and Green Landscape (1975) and River Landscape (1975).

Numerous other artists make an appearance.  I was happy to spot Abstraction (1989) by Zhao Wuji (Zao Wou-Ki), whose dreamy work I first encountered at ART14 London.  A more historical perspective emerges in Lu Sibai’s Street in Chongqing after Japanese Bombing, the first work to enter the collection, or Lui Shou-Kwan’s Houses and Squatters’ Huts on Hong Kong (1967).

Michael Sullivan: A Life of Art and Friendship
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
11 March to 14 September 2014

There is an online version of the exhibition.

Above: Zhao Wuji (Zao Wou-Ki), Abstraction, 1989. Lithograph. Height 21.3cm; width 15.8cm. Ashmolean Museum. Image: http://jameelcentre.ashmolean.org/collection/8/object/15074.

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