Mountains Clearing after Rain
Zhang Daqian Chinese
Not on view
This small landscape exemplifies Zhang Daqian's splashed-ink-and-color method of painting, which he developed in the mid-1960s. In such paintings, he first applied washes of layered ink and intense colors in a semiautomatic manner, then added images of houses, trees, and other details to transform his atmospheric coloring into a suggestive three-dimensional landscape. According to Zhang's inscription, "the peaks along the river separate the clearing slopes from the rain."
Zhang's exposure to Western abstract art played a crucial role in the development of his new style. His acquaintance with Zao Wou-ki (b. 1921), a Chinese expatriate painter working in Paris, was particularly important. In the early 1950s Zao often saturated his canvases with overlapping layers of color onto which he would draw houses, boats, and other figurative motifs. His integration of the abstract with the figurative and the sense of atmospheric expansiveness through nuanced use of color may have inspired Zhang Daqian's splashed painting in both concept and approach.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.