The exhibition at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris marks the big homecoming of Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings in Paris since the retrospective at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in 2003.
Organized in close collaboration with the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation, it proposes the revisiting of the artist’s work, going far beyond the label of ‘Ecole de Paris’ which is partly erroneous. Its purpose is to highlight the big formats painted by the artist all along his carrier, huge tryptics on canvas or gigantic India inks on paper.
The visit intentionally starts with the first abstracts works of the middle of the 50’s and shows the artistic path followed by the Zao Wou-Ki towards the big compositions of the 60’s where the artist already merges the Chinese and Western traditions.
The discovery of abstract American painting reinforces his decision to chose big formats enabling him to work on and in an increasingly wide space.
Composed of loans from leading public institutions (Centre Pompidou – Musée national d’art moderne, Musée cantonal des beaux-arts in Lausanne, Folkwang Museum in Essen, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Musée des beaux- arts in Orleans, Hakone Open-Air Museum) and also from several important private collections both in Europe and Asia, this exhibition brings together works - some of which have never been exhibited in France before - with an innovative and contemporary approach to discover or re-discover Zao Wou-Ki’s big formats.