ZAO WOU-KI, space is silence

From 1 June 2018 to 06 January 2019.

Le Modern Art Museum presents the first major exhibition in Paris since 15 years devoted to the artist Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013).

If his work is now famous, the opportunities to perceive its complexity have remained too rare in Paris. The exhibition wants to renew the reading and invites a reflection on the large format.

The journey begins when Zao Wou-Ki adopts a new expression, "abstract" - a term too restrictive in his eyes - with the work of 1956 titled Crossing appearances. This decisive step precedes a first stay in the United States, the following year, which strengthens it in the quest for an ever larger space.
Artist at the crossroads of several worlds, Zao Wou-Ki left China in 1948 to come to Paris at a time when “living art” began to be shared between the United States and France. His work crosses the aesthetic debates that mark the development of modern art and, if he belongs to a Parisian scene that he appreciates, he perceives very early on the vitality of American painting. Gradually, he also returned to certain features of Chinese painting from which he had voluntarily deviated.
Zao Wou-Ki does not like the word "landscape" to which he prefers the word "nature". His relations with the outside world are made of discoveries and travels, of fruitful encounters, the first of which were with Henri Michaux and the composer Edgar Varese. Poetry and music will remain for him two permanent poles of attraction, like a necessary tension with painting - giving meaning, as his art asserts itself, to the expression that the artist inspired early in Michaux: The space is silence.

By emphasizing the universal scope of its art and its place alongside the greatest artists of the second half of the twentieth century, the Museum of Modern Art presents a selection of forty works of very large dimensions some of which, as a set of 2006 inks have never been exposed.


Commissioners: François Michaud, Erik Verhagen

The exhibition is supported by the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation.

With the sponsorship of DC Advisory.

With the support of SIACI SAINT HONORÉ


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