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  • The poetic title of Vers L’Infini  marks a peak moment as Chu Teh-Chun reaches the pinnacle of artistic achievement. In 1999, a 79 year-old Chu travelled to Beijing to celebrate the 80th birthday of his lifelong friend and comrade in art, Wu Guanzhong. Created that same year, Vers L'Infini alludes to the artist's state of mind at the time, expressing hope that his creations will transform into light that co-exist with the universe forever.

     

     

    Rembrandt HarMenszoon van Rijn, De Nachtwacht, 1642.
    Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

     

    The brushstrokes in the painting flow like a waterfall. At this time, the artist's brushstrokes had reached a state of perfection. From the treatment of colour, which progresses from dark to bright, layer upon layer, there is not only the smoke of mountains and rivers, but also the rippling, glistening water. It is as if in this secret place, looming between the valleys, there are blooming flowers swaying in the air. Compared with Chu’s domineering and explicit artistic style of his youth, his oil paintings in the later stages of his life show a more natural flow that mirrors the changes in depth and shade. This painting has up to 19 colours scattered throughout, but there is no sense of messiness or chaos. The artist’s intentionality can be clearly seen.


     

    Nicolas De Staël, Parc des Princes (Les grands footballeurs), 1952

     

    The endless images in Vers L'Infini precisely reflect the artist's state of mind at that time. While painting, Chu Teh-Chun also loved to listen to classical music. Over the decades of his artistic career, the rhythm of the notes became deeply embedded in his paintings, creating an eternal poem in his mind. The painting's 1:2 width-to-length ratio is rare in the artist’s oeuvre, and it embraces the singular proposition that the artist had been working on. Along with the brush and ink of Eastern landscape painting, the artist’s own experience of Eastern and Western philosophy come together to form an abstract oil painting, marking a new creative breakthrough and a truly unique work by Chu Teh-Chun.

     

     

     Fang Congyi, Cloudy Mountains (Partial), 1360-70
    Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

     

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Asia
      Duo Yun Xuan, Shanghai, 30 June 2010, lot 1413
      Private Collection
      33 Auction, Singapore, 24 January 2013, lot 49
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Sochaux, Hôtel de Ville, Chu Teh-Chun Peintures, January 2000
      Taichung, Modern Art Gallery, Chu Teh-Chun, 2000

    • Literature

      Galerie Enrico Navarra, ed., Chu Teh‐Chun: Oeuvres récentes, Paris, 1998, p. 28 (illustrated)
      Galerie Enrico Navarra, ed., Chu Teh-Chun, Paris, 2000, pp. 308-309 (illustrated)

204

Vers L'Infini

signed and dated 'CHU TEH-CHUN. [in Chinese and Pinyin] 99.' lower left; signed, titled and dated '“Vers l'infini” [in French and Chinese] CHU TEH-CHUN. [in Pinyin and Chinese] 1999.' on the reverse
oil on canvas
60.2 x 119.9 cm. (23 1/2 x 47 in.)
Painted in 1999, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist's wife, Chu Ching-Chao. This work will be included in the artist's forthcoming catalogue raisonné on the work of Chu Teh-Chun, being prepared by Fondation Chu Teh-Chun. (Information provided by Fondation Chu Teh-Chun and Mrs Chu Ching Chao.)

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
HK$2,800,000 - 3,800,000 
€320,000-435,000
$359,000-487,000

Sold for HK$3,528,000

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20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale in Association with Poly Auction

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2021