Action Painting to Chinese Calligraphy and Back – A 50-year Journey in Seven Pictures

Mark Rothko Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red  (1949)

Jackson Pollock  Number 25  (1950)

                                       Number 25 - Jackson Pollock

Willem de Kooning Woman I  (1952)

  Jiro Yoshihara Blue Calligraphic Lines on Dark Blue (1963)

Blue Calligraphic Lines on Dark Blue

Gu Gan The Mountains are Breaking Up (1985) *


Xu Bing Books from Heaven (1988) **

Xu Bing. A Book from Heaven. 1987-91

Cy Twombly Untitled (Peony blossoms), (2007) ***

Untitled, (Blooming, A Scattering of Blossoms & Other Things) - Cy Twombly

NB     The images are from  which allows unlimited copying for informational and educational purposes.

*     Gu Gan’s The Mountains are Breaking Up: top character is sh’an (mountain) and bottom one cui (crumble).

**    Xu Bing’s Books from Heaven: All the characters in the books and manuscripts here are non-existent, not Chinese words at all.

***  Cy Twombly Untitled (Peony blossoms): A continuation of American Abstract Expressionism from the 1950s, re-interpreting the action painting of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning as well as the color field work of Mark Rothko (first three images above).  The peonies also allude to the prized place of peonies in Japanese and Chinese art and culture. More about this in my next post.

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