JACOB François – Extract from the foreword of the catalogue of the exhibition Zao Wou-Ki – Paintings 1980-1985 at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery Edition, New York, United States, 1986.
"A perspective still open to everything possible. A condition preceding the world. A road leading, not to completion but to the origin, to the edges of what does not yet exist. This is where Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings lead us, towards a space still undetermined but still pending, hesitant and gliding for a last second before shifting into what will later become a governing order.
(…) There is in Zao Wou-ki’s painting, an endless questioning of the world. A determination to recreate it. Some of his paintings evoke the fury of origins, the giving birth to matter through energy, and the latest jolts of creative outbursts. Other ones display the teasing rebellion of the nebulas. Or the birth of light. Or the invention of water. Or the first morning ever, such as this marvelous little triptych with pinky white hues. And, implicitly, beyond the convulsions of matter, as if ready to burst, life … "