Artworks by Wu Guanzhong

Guilin by Wu Guanzhong

43 x 88 cm
Oil on Wooden Panel
Year: 1970

Jiangnan Scenery by Wu Guanzhong

69 x 46 cm
Watercolor & Ink on Paper

Seine Bridge by Wu Guanzhong

61 x 73 cm
Oil on Canvas
Year: 1989

Family by the Small Bridge by Wu Guanzhong

65.5 x 67 cm
Watercolor & Ink on Paper

Houses of the South by Wu Guanzhong

57.5 x 62 cm

Jiangnan Houses by Wu Guanzhong

66 x 121 cm

Growth by Wu Guanzhong

80.5 x 95.5 cm

The Tree Story by Wu Guanzhong

58 x 60 cm

Buildings by Wu Guanzhong

99 x 80 cm

Fisher-port by Wu Guanzhong

60 x 57.5 cm

The White Birch Tree by Wu Guanzhong

80 x 102 cm

Nest by Wu Guanzhong

80 x 101 cm

Pandas by Wu Guanzhong

66 x 139 cm

Wu Guanzhong


Wu Guanzhong is a leading master in 20th-century Chinese painting. His distinctive painting style, having successfully assimilated Western techniques of abstraction, is both Chinese in outlook and modern in conception. An intellectual artist who has published many collections of essays and several dozen painting albums, Wu is one of the few Chinese artists to have established a reputation both in China and the West. In 1992 his paintings were exhibited at the British Museum, the first time such an honour has been accorded to a living Chinese artist.

Wu was born in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, in 1919. In 1936 he enrolled at the National Arts Academy of Hangzhou, studying both Chinese and Western painting under Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) and Lin Fengmian (1900-1991). In 1947 Wu travelled to Paris to study at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts on a government scholarship. He admired Utrillo, Braque, Matisse, Gauguin, Cézanne and Picasso, but especially Van Gogh, to whose grave he made a special pilgrimage.

Wu’s paintings have the colour sense and formal principles of Western paintings, but a spirit and tonal variations of ink that are typically Chinese. Natural scenery is reduced to its essentials – simple but powerful abstract forms. In rows of houses built along the contour of the hills, Wu discovers abstract patterns, the white houses with black roofs standing out against the soft grey tones of the mountains or water. In all his work, objective representation loses its importance, overtaken by the beauty of the abstract forms, lines, colours and subtle ink tones.

1919 Born in Yixing county, Jiangsu Province, China
1942 Graduated from National Arts Academy, Hangzhou
1946 – 50 Studied oil painting at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
1950 – 53 Lecturer at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
1953 – 55 Associate Professor at Qinghua University, Beijing
1956 – 64 Associate Professor and Director of Teaching and Research at the
Beijing Fine Arts Normal College
1964 – 79 Professor at the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts, Beijing
1979 Elected director of Standing Committee, Chinese Artists’ Association
1981 Elected member of National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
1991 Received the honour “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” from the French Ministry of Culture
1992 Exhibition “Wu Guanzhong: A Twentieth-Century Chinese Painter” at the British Museum, London