Exhibition “Zao Wou-Ki, space is silence” at Museum of Modern Art

Exhibition “Zao Wou-Ki, space is silence” at Museum of Modern Art

There is no second act in the lives of Americans, Fitzgerald wrote. And in the lives of Chinese? That of Zao Wou-Ki has many chapters and twists. Born into an old patrician family, he had been introduced to the ancestral practice of calligraphy before arriving in Paris in 1948, ready to compete with his contemporaries.

Initially inspired by Matisse, Giacometti’s neighbour in Montparnasse and a friend of Henri Michaux and Pierre Soulages, exposure to the work of Paul Klee was the decisive moment for him. Lauded very early in the United States, a naturalized French in 1964 thanks to Malraux and long discredited in his own country before being rehabilitated, he alternated between inks of China and large formats and died almost a centenarian in Switzerland, suffering from Alzheimer’s …


Posterity is nowhere near forgetting him, as evidenced by this beautiful exhibition at the Musée d’Art moderne in the City of Paris where his visions flirt with the most abstract works of Turner. No Great Wall to hold back Zao Wou-Ki: he strove to shatter everything to find light.


From 1st June 2018 to 6th January 2019
Musée d’Art moderne in Paris
12-14, avenue de New-York
75116 Paris


Zao Wou-Ki devant 29.09.64 et 21.09.6, 1967 © Adagp
Sidney Waintrob, Budd Studio
© David Stekert, Budd Studio, 2018