Current Exhibition 08.11.19 – 31.05.20
Opening exhibition of the Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum in Shanghai
The arrival of the Centre Pompidou to Shanghai is undoubtedly a major sign of the evolution of the new West Bund neighborhood in Shanghai. The French National Museum of Modern Art is the only foreign museum authorized to exhibit its collections in China, housed in an independent building that was officially opened by the French President Emmanuel Macron October 5.
The opening show, The Shape of Time, gives pride of place to the work of Zao Wou-Ki. The French artist, born in China in 1920 and whose family still live in Shanghai, is represented by seven works spread through several rooms in the museum.
His large-scale painting 04.05.64 (200 x 260 cm), donated to the French State by the artist in recognition of his naturalization in 1964, looms large in the world abstract painting room, alongside work by Argentinian artist Lucio Fontana, German artist Hans Hartung, Korean artist Lee Ungno, French artists Pierre Soulages and Georges Mathieu, American artists Sam Francis, Joan Mitchell, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, and Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga.
Two rooms later, a wall is given over to works on paper by Lee Ungno, Belgian artist Henri Michaux and Zao Wou-Ki. Their research around the character and work in ink shows undeniable modernity that draws on their respective roots. A glass case also houses several collector’s books made by Zao Wou-Ki in the 1950s and 1970s with Henri Michaux (Lecture de huit lithographies de Zao Wou-Ki par Henri Michaux, 1950), René Char (Les Compagnons dans le jardin, 1957) and Jean Lescure (L’Étang, 1972).