The Lin Yutang Family Collection, Gift of Richard M. Lai, Jill Lai Miller, and Larry C. Lai, in memory of Taiyi Lin Lai, 2006
Not on view
Guo Dawei painted this delightful scroll of various vegetables in a spontaneous, abbreviated manner. The coarse lines, especially those defining the mustard greens at the far left, exhibit the raw, artless quality that he also valued in calligraphy. His inclusion of the mustard greens' yellow flowers—an indication of overripeness and, therefore, rarely seen in this genre—enabled him to make the rhythmic alternation of color in the scroll end on a high note, further enhancing the sense of exuberance and joy.
Guo Dawei considered compositional mastery crucial to a work of art and the hardest quality to attain. In this painting, the alternation between slight scattered vegetables and compact monumental ones creates a lively compositional syncopation that reaches a crescendo with the extravagantly extroverted form of the mustard greens.
Guo Dawei may have become acquainted with Lin Yutang when he was studying at Columbia University in the late 1950s. He painted this work for Lin Yutang and his wife before they moved to Taipei in 1966.
Signature: Artist's inscription and signature (1 column in running script):
Artist's seal: Guo Dawei
Artist's seal 郭大維 Guo Dawei
Inscription: Artist’s inscription and signature (1 column in running script)
For the enlightened inspection of [Lin] Yutang and his wife, Dawei.
Guo Dawei 郭大維
 Documentation from Shi-yee Liu, Straddling East and West: Lin Yutang, A Modern Literatus: The Lin Yutang Family Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007, no. 20, p. 76.