Monday, 30 June 2014

Sanyu, A Chinese in Paris (Part 1)

(San Yu or Chang Yu, 常玉)

(Nanchung 14 October 1901 - 1966 Paris

Chinese-French painter and sculptor
and printmaker. 

In last posting I met with Paul Emille Gallien, so called "master of the black line". Researching this French artist and filling my bucket so to speak I couldn't help stumbling over another but very different black line magician. Also in Paris. At the same time, arriving in 1921 and after two years of study in Berlin, returned to stay permanently in 1923.

Although this Blog is mainly concerned with printmaking and Sanyu is as much a printmaker as I am an art expert I cannot resist showing some of his works that left me in wonder for quite a while. The art and training of the traditional Chinese black line + calligraphy + abstraction" mixed and infused with modernist Paris creating a unique style, at least that is what I think.   

Influences of many contemporary (Western) artists came to my simple mind: the models and nudes of Egon Schiele, Picasso and Henri Matisse, the odalisques of Amadeo Modigliani, the rounded curves of Renoir's  and Aristide Maillol's models. But also the colors and horses and dogs by Marc Chagall and Franz Marc and "the Brücke" artists like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner but also images of flowers in pots from Japanese (flower) printmaker Yoshijiro Urushibara

The aesthete Sanyu was always experimenting with form and composition, arranging and rearranging his models to find the perfect composition.

But then: I'm not an art expert, so please let these powerful images sink in and make up your own mind. 

Although once famous and adulated Sanyu, he exhibited even in Amsterdam before WW2, died in abject poverty and obscurity in his Paris studio in 1966. 

In next posting: showing some of Sanyu's characteristic flower paintings. 

You can read here* and here* about Sanyu's life and career. In the second link you can find many more examples of Sanyu's work. 

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.      

No comments:

Post a Comment