Nov 16, 2021 - Sale 2588

Sale 2588 - Lot 80

Price Realized: $ 4,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000

Oil on canvas, 1971. 1200x740 mm; 47 1/4x29 1/4 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower left recto.

Provenance: Private collection, Chicago.

Way (1921-2012) was a Chinese-American artist, born in Shanghai, who became known for his bold paintings combining layers of colors inspired by Chinese calligraphy and Abstract Expressionist painting. Way studied calligraphy at the age of ten under the famous Chinese artist Li Zhongqian, the nephew and student of Li Ruiqing. At age sixteen, he had his first calligraphy exhibition, which garnered widespread praise for his works. In 1949, he and his family moved to Hong Kong where he joined the Hong Kong Art Club and for the first time was exposed to and studied Western art. His paintings of this period are typically figurative in subject matter. He moved to Boston in 1956 and studied engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During the 1960s, Way gravitated to abstraction, influenced by the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, and his oil paintings became suffused with color. He "wrote" gesturally over layers of color and sometimes heavy impasto with a thick brush of darker paint, reminiscent of the free-flowing movement of a Chinese calligrapher'. He went to Paris for further studies in 1975, and published a series of four Chinese calligraphy books in the 1980s. In 2006, an exhibition of his calligraphy and oil paintings were shown at the Honolulu Academy of Arts and there was a retrospective of his work in Beijing in 2010 to mark his 90th year.