Asia Week Exhibition: Hai Tao, (海涛, b. 1959)

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M. Sutherland Fine Arts, an Upper East Side gallery specializing in Contemporary Chinese Art, is currently holding a solo exhibition of works by Hai Tao (海涛, b. 1959). His expressive monochromatic landscapes are subtle, yet intricate, representing an innovative new approach to China’s lengthy tradition of ink painting.

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Mountains Sprout to Fill the Heavens

Mountains Sprout to Fill the Heavens, one of Hai’s works featured in this exhibition, owes much of its technique to classical masters of Chinese landscape painting. Even the title of the work highlights the poetry and dynamism of the artist’s approach. Devoid of outlines, Hai uses gradients of black ink to define surfaces and create depth. In the center of the composition, a white expanse rises like smoke in the foreground. Around it, different tonal washes wind sinuously, creating a dreamy, fantastic landscape of deep caverns and steep cliffs, culminating in a steep tip. The twisting, wispy mountains bear strong resemblance to Chinese scholar rocks but are clearly imaginary, conjured in the artist’s mind, but Hai provides them the same stylistic treatment as traditional mountain landscapes of reality. This fusion of an abstract form with classical literati painting is a thoroughly expressive new incarnation of ink painting.

Landscape (Untitled, hanging Scroll)

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Though not a part of the exhibit, another painting featured in the gallery serves as a fitting compliment to Hai Tao’s painting. Similarly, Jia Youfu’s (賈又福, b.1942) untitled landscape also features an expressionistic abstract landscape. The inky, dense black and the vibrant, unusual orange create a richly pigmented contrast. It is only upon seeing the rocky crag rising through the swirling splotches of color, dotted with the silhouettes of a herder and his oxen that one remembers this is a rustic landscape. Both ink paintings, the works by Hai Tao and Jia Youfu serve as exceptional examples of the new directions of Chinese ink painting.

M. Sutherland Fine Arts, 纽约一家专注中国当代艺术的画廊, 目前正在举行画家海涛(b.1959)的个人画展。 他充满神采的水墨山水画微妙并雅观, 创新了历史漫长的中国水墨画。

《拔地倚天》, 海涛的作品之一, 在基础方面起源于中国古典山水画大师。 就连画的提名展现了海涛的具有诗意和活力的风格。他使用深浅不一的墨水, 而不是轮廓, 创造深度和距离。在图的中间,一笔白山如烟般升起,不同浓度的墨弯曲在它的左右聚成山涧, 画出了深深的洞穴和高高的峭壁, 如梦幻一般的风景。 扭曲,纤细的山崖相似古代供山,但明显是画家幻想之中的景观。海涛画的虽是抽象的景,但用了传统中式山水画的风格,融合了古代文人的传统和现代抽象画,表现出水墨画新的化身。

挂在画廊另一处的贾又福(b.1942)的未题名山水画和海涛的作品组成合适的对比。这幅画也是抽象风景图, 但画家用了泼墨山水的绘画方式,并加了不寻常的橘黄色衬托浓浓的黑墨。只有在注意到远方的岩石峭壁和山上的牧人和牛再认识到这时一副山水画。这两副不同的水墨画充分表现出中国现代水墨画的新方向。

Qualities | Indian and Sri Lankan Ivory

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Indian and Sri Lankan Ivory

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Ivory was one of the favourite material of artisans in central Asia and India. Small ivory inlaid wooden articles and furniture were popular in Mughal India. At an earlier date ivory objects carved in India were traded throughout the Roman and Byzantine empires. In the eastern Indian city of Orissa from the 16th to the 19th centuries skilled carvers produced ivory decorative objects as well as large scale furniture. Other ivory centres in India, such as Vishakhapatnam, specialised in ivory inlaid or ivory veneered furniture made for the western market. Much of this furniture is decorated with foliate patterns with blackened details. The finest examples are well designed as furniture and as decorative objects incorporating incised designs.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

MUGHAL CARVED IVORY AND TORTOISESHELL VENEERED CABINET, 17TH CENTURY

Sold during iGavel’s Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art Auction on May 1st, 2013 for $75,000 with Buyer’s Premium over 44 bids

 

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QUALITIES | CHINESE JADE

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Qualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate our Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. SOME OF The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

Chinese Jade

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Carved stone cylinder seals were used extensively in the Mesopotamian area beginning
around 3500 BCE as a means of recording ownership of property or establishing authorship for documents on clay tablets. These seals would be decorated with mythological figures or other devices which would be unique to the owner. Carved from agate, rock crystal, lapis or other materials, the cylinder seal was the precursor to the signet ring and other types of carved small stone articles commonly found in many Asian cultures.

The most popular of these stones and that most often associated with Asia is jade. There are two types of stone which are commercially referred to as jade: nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is the more often found material, usually in dark green, white, pale green, brown and occasionally yellow. It is an extremely hard stone, registering 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, and cannot be scratched by steel. Jadeite has a more granular texture and appears in bright emerald and other shades of green, lavender, black, brown and white. The most valuable stones are emerald green and very translucent. Jadeite was not used as a material for carving in China before the 18th century and most examples date from the late 19th or 20th centuries. Other stones and materials used in small carved articles ale coral, agate, amber and rock crystal.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

CHINESE DARK GREEN JADE SEAL WITH IMPERIAL BILINGUAL INSCRIPTION, 20TH CENTURY

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PAIR OF CHINESE PALE CELADON JADE MUGHAL STYLE CHRYSANTHEMUM DISHES, 20TH CENTURY

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QUALITIES | CHINESE ENAMELS

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Qualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate our Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. SOME OF The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

Chinese Enamels

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Some of the principal colours used in Chinese cloisonné enamelwork are red, green, white, yellow, dark and bright blue. Although enamelled metal articles date from ancient times in China, the first cloisonné objects date from the 15th century. Cloisonné enamel dating from the Ming dynasty typically is decorated with repeating foliate patterns, mythical animals and occasionally landscape scenes. Forms and designs follow those found on ceramics of the same period.

Cloisonné Enamels

Cloisonné was probably introduced into China by the Mongols. Byzantine enamels were widely admired in Central Asia and probably provided the inspiration for Chinese cloisonné. Ming decoration usually incorporates dragons, lotus scrolls, leafy vines, landscapes and flowers. Most Ming cloisonné enamels are unmarked but Jingtai marked examples (1450-1457) are an exception. The Jingtai mark is usually honorific and objects with it usually date from later periods.

During the Qianlong period cloisonné techniques became increasingly sophisticated with finely drawn patterns of delicate inlays. The patterns lack the robustness and vitality of the early Ming example but reach a new standard in technical execution. Typical vessels include sets of censers , candle ticks and vases made as garnitures for temples and vessels which are inspired by ancient bronze form. These piece are often accentuated with gilded bronze surfaces. The repertoire of shapes include small models of animals, myth Ological creatures and large vases and other vessels. Cloisonné continued to be made in large quantities during the 19th and 20th centuries, but much of this output recapitulates earlier forms and, possibly due to the larger quantities manufactured, often has a lifeless, stiff appearance.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

LARGE CHINESE CLOISONNÉ TRIPOD LOTUS CENSER, MING DYNASTY

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QUALITIES | CHINESE FURNITURE

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Qualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate our upcoming Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. SOME OF The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

 

CHINESE FURNITURE

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The Chinese furniture tradition extends back thousands of years. The principal cabinetmaking materials in China include hardwoods, softwoods, bamboo, lacquer, stone and metal. Because furniture made of pine or other softwoods is easily scratched or scarred and susceptible to damage by water or insects, it is often protected by a lacquer surface. Most lacquered furniture in China is burgundy coloured, bright red or black.

WOOD TYPES

Furniture constructed of denser, more durable hardwoods and softwoods such as pine often had lacquer surfaces, particularly if the grain pattern was uninteresting or very open. Wood with a striking grain pattern was most often unlacquered, allowing the natural beauty of the wood to enhance the overall appearance of the object.The principal cabinet woods of China are: elm Qumu), cedar (nanmu), burl (huamu), cypress (nanbai), camphor (zhang), oak (zuo), pine (song), fir (shang), linden (duan), hongmu, tielimu, ebony (wu), jichimu, huanghuali, and zitan.

The best known of these tropical hardwoods is huanghuali. It has a rich reddish brown distinctive grain pattern suffused with dark flecks incorporating small tight knots. It is dense, oily and an ideal cabinetmaking wood. Zitan, a dark, purplish-black wood. is especially prized for its subtle grain of dense tight whorls and knots, often with a feathered appearance. Imperial edicts restricted the use of zitan and much imperial furniture was constructed of this material during the late 18th century.

CONSTRUCTION

The tradition of Chinese cabinetry is closely allied with that of architecture. Chinese architecture relies on mortise and tenon and post and beam construction and smaller scaled but similar techniques are used in the construction of Chinese furniture. Cabinetmakers and builders shared the same guild.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

CHINESE HUANGHUALI MIRROR STAND, 18TH CENTURY

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CHINESE HUANGHUALI BRUSHPOT, 18TH CENTURY

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CHINESE IMPERIAL CARVED ZITAN ARMCHAIR, 18TH CENTURY
This item was sold during iGavel’s Asian, Ancient & Ethnographic Works of Art Auction on October 10, 2012 for $1,002,000. Click here to view

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QUALITIES | PORCELAIN

Porcelain

Qualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate Asia Week New York and our upcoming Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

PORCELAIN

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Chinese Underglaze Red and Blue Porcelain Peach Vase, 18th Century. Available for bidding April 17-May 1, 2013.

After the discovery of stoneware, potters continued to experiment with refined clays, searching for materials which had fewer impurities and which would fuse even more completely. Eventually this led to the discovery of porcelain. Porcelain clay, commonly called kaolin, is refined and mixed with a hard white stone called petunse or ‘china stone’, a type of feldspar. It fuses into a translucent body when fired to a temperature of at least 1250 degrees centigrade.

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A close up on the decoration. Click on the image for the full size version

 

 

The white body of porcelain is strong, translucent and can be colourfully decorated. Most decoration on porcelain uses the mineral cobalt. When painted with a brush in a liquid mixture on to the unfired body, cobalt is dark grey. When fired, the grey brightens into blue.

 

 

Most porcelain is covered with a clear glaze. When the painted design is under the glaze it is referred to as ‘underglaze decorated’ and, when applied over the glaze, ‘overglaze decorated’. Metallic oxides are often mixed together into a viscous substance which, when painted on to the glazed surface after firing and fired a second time, will harden into rich colours, called ‘enamels’. When these metallic oxides are combined with the glaze, they produce a coloured glazed surface.

The above excerpt was taken from “Asian Art” (2002) by Lark E. Mason

 

Chinese Underglaze Red and Blue Porcelain Peach Vase, 18th Century

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QUALITIES | CHINESE BRONZE CASTING

AsiaWeekNewYorkHomepageBannerQualities is a part of our efforts to celebrate Asia Week New York and our upcoming Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art auction. The items highlighted in the posts will be available for bidding during the auction.

 

CHINESE BRONZE CASTING

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Chinese Archaic Bronze Vessel, Gui, Western Zhou Dynasty. Available for bidding April 17-May 1, 2013.

Sophisticated bronze casting techniques emerged in China much earlier than in any other Asian culture. In the Shang Dynasty (1,766-1045 BCE) the Chinese produced large scale elaborately cast bronze ritual vessels. These often incorporated zoomorphic or ritual mask designs. Early bronze vessels in China were cast using the piece-mould method. Movable handles or elaborate elements were sometimes added after the initial casting by ‘casting on’ using small moulds.

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A close up of the handle

Shapes and Decoration
Shapes include food containers, wine vessels and storage jars. The jue is a tripod pouring vessel with a narrow spout on three blade-form legs. Often the background design is a pattern of small coils called leiwen, with stylised birds and dragons separated by low flanges.The gu is a trumpet-shaped vase with a flared mouth. A ding is an ovoid tripod vessel on circular section legs. Shapes such as the you often had movable handles and covers which were separate cast. The most elaborate of these vessels had animal-form legs or large bold masks called taotie cast in high relief. Gold, silver, turquoise and other inlays were sometimes added and sumptuous vessels dating from the Warring States and Han period occasionally have human figural designs. The shapes of vessels were sometimes influenced by the casting process, using legs or other elements as pouring channels.

Drawings of Ancient Chinese bronze shapes

Drawings of Ancient Chinese bronze shapes

By the 2nd century CE the ritual significance of these bronzes had diminished and bronze was supplanted in importance as a symbol of wealth by other materials, notably lacquer.

Chinese Archaic Bronze Vessel, Gui, Western Zhou Dynasty

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Sale Highlights: Lalique Zebra Glass Vase, French, 20th C.

iGavel Auctions Associate Seller Litchfield County Auctions has a Lalique Zebra Glass Vase, French, 20th C available for bidding on www.iGavelAuctions.com through July 11th, 2012 .

This vase is decorated with a band of black enamel with trotting zebras about a clear globe-form.  The glass vase has a molded frosted leaf decoration, with an incised script mark on the underside ‘Lalique/France 418.’ It is estimated at $1500 -2500 and measures 8 1/4″ H x 7 1/2″ in Diameter.

The vase was designed by Rene Jules Lalique.René Jules Lalique (6 April 1860, Ay, Marne – 5 May 1945, Paris)who was a French glass designer known for his creations of perfume bottles, vases, jewellery, chandeliers, clocks and automobile hood ornaments. He was born in the French village of Ay on 6 April 1860 and died 5 May 1945. He started a glassware firm, named after himself, which still remains successful.
Lalique’s early life was spent learning the methods of design and art he would use in his later life. At the age of two, his family moved to a suburb of Paris, but traveled to Ay for summer holidays. These trips influenced Lalique’s later naturalistic glasswork. In 1872, when he was twelve, he entered the Collège Turgot where he started drawing and sketching. With the death of his father two years later, Lalique began working as an apprentice to goldsmith Louis Aucoc in Paris and attended evening classes at the Ecole des arts décoratifs. He worked there from 1874-1876 and subsequently spent two years at the Sydenham Art College in London.