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Chen Chi (Chinese/American, 1912-2005), View of New York, watercolor on paper, signed, mid 20th century

Chen Chi (Chinese/American, 1912-2005), View of New York, watercolor on paper, signed, mid 20th century

Item Description:

Signed "Chen Chi" lower left in red ink and with chop mark, matted, glazed, and framed

Condition:

Sheet is rippled in frame. Slight toning. Please contact cataloging@lofty.com for specific condition questions. Not examined out of the frame.Lofty does not guarantee the condition or authenticity of frames.

Provenance:

Gift from the artist to the grandfather of the current owner

Inherited by descent

Dimensions:

Sight: Height 12.5 in. x Width 9 in.
Frame: Height 26 in. x Width 21.5 in.

About The Artist:

Chen Chi was a Chinese American watercolor artist and poet born in Wuxi, China in 1912. In about 1930, Chen became active in the "White Swan Club", a group for avant-garde artists in Shanghai, China where he was a student. The Club encouraged the influence of Western art and ideas in combination with Eastern traditions. As a young man, he witnessed the Japanese occupation of Shanghai in 1932 before coming to the United States as part of a cultural exchange program in 1947. Though he had first exhibited in China prior to coming to the United States, Chen's work was widely exhibited and celebrated among American audiences. In 1964, Chen was granted United States citizenship and lived and worked in New York City.

Chen's work blends his Chinese roots with Impressionism, an early twentieth century French art movement that valued broad, expressive brushstrokes and the careful and accurate depiction of light and shadow. Like the Impressionists, Chen painted en plein air, or outdoors. He favored landscapes and painted scenes in all seasons. Chen followed the Chinese tradition of depicting nature and capturing its general essence or feeling, while focusing on mainly Western subjects. His works border on the abstract, as Chen simplified subjects to create balanced compositions. The contemplative and spiritual artist believed that artists were called upon for a higher purpose and that art could potentially generate world peace.

Chen was the only artist who was invited to exhibit at the First World Cultural Summit in Versailles, France in 2000. Among many other awards and honors, an art museum was erected in his honor in 1999. The Chen Chi Fine Art Museum in Shanghai, China, is located at Jiao Tong University.

In this scene, Chen juxtaposes old and new New York. In the foreground, historic row houses interact with the colorful street as newer high rises loom over them in the background. Chen confronts the viewer with the juxtaposition of the warm and harmonious presence of the older buildings and the isolated reality of the high rises.

 

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SKU: 01tj0000002eYYuAAM

 
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