No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki

February 4, 2017 - June 4, 2017

Lower Jette Galleries, Upper Jette Galleries

No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki is the first retrospective of the work of Zao Wou-Ki (1920–2013) in the United States, and the first museum exhibition of his work in the U.S. in nearly a half-century. Consisting of oil paintings and works on paper from throughout Zao’s long career, the works in this exhibition provide a dazzling introduction to the contributions of this important Chinese-French artist. Considered one of the first superstar artists of the Chinese diaspora, Zao immigrated to Paris in 1948 and quickly established himself among post-war art circles there. Zao’s art-historical significance lies in his singular adaption of the visual poetry of Chinese art within twentieth-century oil-painting idioms. In his hands, abstraction embraced both European modernism and Chinese metaphysical principles. No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki offers stunning visual evidence of Zao’s pioneering internationalist aesthetic, and marks him as a key figure in twentieth-century transculturalism.

No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki is co-organized by the Colby College Museum of Art and Asia Society Museum, New York, where it is currently on view through January 8, 2017. The exhibition is cocurated by Dr. Melissa Walt, Research Associate, Colby College; Dr. Ankeney Weitz, Ellerton M. and Edith K. Jetté Professor of Art, Colby College; and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, Asia Society.

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Zao Wou-Ki: No Limits

The lavishly illustrated scholarly exhibition catalogue presents the research findings of Research Associate in Art Melissa Walt, and Ellerton M. and Edith K. Jette Professor of Art Ankeney Weitz. It is copublished by the Colby College Museum of Art and Asia Society, and distributed by Yale University Press.


Exhibition review: Jamie Thompson, Zao Wou-Ki at Colby, Artscope, December 2016

Exhibition feature: Alain R. Truong, “No Limits: Zao Wou-Ki” at Colby College Museum of Art, February 2017

Exhibition review: Daniel Kany, Zao Wou-Ki’s art displays its genuine power at Colby College museum, April 2017

Banner Image: Zao Wou-Ki, Décembre 89–Février 90—Quadriptyque (December 89–February 90—Quadriptych) (detail), 1989–90. Oil on canvas. Each canvas: 63 3/4 x 39 3/8 in. (162 x 100 cm); overall: 63 3/4 x 157 1/2 in. (162 x 400 cm). Private collections, Taiwan. © Zao Wou-Ki/ProLitteris, Zurich. Photography by Jean-Louis Losi