Celebrating Fang Zhaoling: Chinese paintings at the Ashmolean

fang zhaoling plum

The Ashmolean is celebrating the life of Chinese artist Fang Zhaoling (1914-2006) with an exhibition of paintings drawn from several private collections. She studied at different times with the Lingnan School master, Zhao Shao’ang (1905–1998), and the celebrated Zhang Daqian (1899–1983).

It is fascinating to see works from throughout her life, and the variation in style. The unrestrained splashing of the ink in works from the 1960s such as Plum Blossom and Abstraction gives way to a more controlled, conscious simplicity, seen in Mount Hua Landscape, painted on a trip to western China in 1973.

She also developed a practice of layering multiple washes of ink and colour, as seen in two later works, the dramatic Flowering Branches on Cliffs (1978) and Spring Returns to the World (1987).

Fang Zhaoling: A Centenary Exhibition
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
2 October 2014 to 22 February 2015

Above: Fang Zhaoling, Plum Blossom, 1961. Ink and colour on paper. Height 47cm; width 42 cm. Private collection. Image: Ashmolean Museum, at http://wsimag.com/art/10784-fang-zhaoling.

Below: Fang Zhaoling, Mount Hua Landscape, Spring 1973. Ink and colour on paper. Height 42cm; width 69.1 cm. Private collection. Image: Ashmolean Museum, at http://wsimag.com/art/10784-fang-zhaoling.

fang zhaoling scenery

Below: Fang Zhaoling, Flowering Branches on Cliffs, 1978. Ink and colour on paper. Height 68.6cm; width 88.9 cm. Private collection. Image: Ashmolean Museum, at http://wsimag.com/art/10784-fang-zhaoling.

fang zhaoling cliffs