Zao Wou-ki’s Dream-like Painting to Lead Christie’s Shanghai Evening Sale

Zao Wou-ki (1920-2013) has been a highly sought-after name in the auction worlds. Many of his works were sold up to million dollars and some of them even set the auction records one after another. The frenzy for Zao continues as Christie’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale in Shanghai is going to be led by Zao Wou-ki’s 13.02.92.

Created by Zao Wou-ki in 1992, 13.02.92 is a dream-like painting that conjures up images of water and wind, deep pools and shifting clouds. The artist has skillfully applied washes of pigment around a central space, framing the composition in a way that showcases the radiance of the work's natural energy.

Zao Wou-ki

Zao’s best works from the 90s show an influence of impressionism as he was fascinated by the Impressionist idea of transience and sought to capture nature’s most fleeting of moments like sunlight glinting off a water, a plume of rising smoke, or the hazy shape of a monument glimpsed at sunset.

Claude Monet's The Seine at Giverny (1897). Collection of the Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia

A year before he created 13.02.92, Zao spent almost half a year working on a large triptych entitled Homage to Claude Monet to pay tribute to Monet’s paintings of the lakes and water lilies at Giverny. The present lot, 13.02.92, was painted barely a year later. It is imbued with the same romantic rhythm as its predecessor. The layers of lavender, lime, pale yellow and cerulean emphasize the rich blues that dominate the composition.

Zao Wou-ki's Homage to Claude Monet. Triptych, 1991. Private Collection.
This painting was previously auctioned at China Guardian in Beijing in 2012, carrying an estimate of RMB 10m-15m. It was sold for RMB 12,075,000. After 6 years, the painting reappears onto the market and is expected to fetch RMB 16m-26m (US$2,367,192 - 3,846,688) at Christie’s in Shanghai. Let us keep an eye and see if Zao Wou-ki will continue to reign supreme at the auction again.

Highlights of the sale

Zao Wou-ki (1920-2013). 13.02.92

Lot no.: 304
Created in: 1992
Size: 200x162 cm

  • Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Private Collection, Europe
  • China Guardian, Beijing,15 May 2012, lot 4824
  • Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Estimate: RMB 16,000,000 - 26,000,000 (US$2,367,192 - 3,846,688)

Andy Warhol (1928-1987). Flowers

Lot no.: 309
Painted in: 1978
Size: 55.9 x 55.9 cm

  • Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York.
  • Private collection, Asia.

Estimate: RMB 9,500,000 - 12,000,000

Mar Chagall (1887-1985). Etude pour la Nuit de Vence

Lot no.: 308
Painted in: 1953
Size: 31.7 x 44.5 cm

  • The artist's estate.
  • Ida Chagall, Paris; her sale, Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, 20 June 2014, lot 4.
  • Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

Estimate: RMB 4,200,000 - 5,500,000

Chu The-chun (1920-2014). Ombres Flottantes

Lot no.: 305
Signed and dated: 1990
Size: 97 × 130 cm

  • Collection, Paris, France
  • Private Collection, Asia

Estimate: RMB 2,800,000 - 3,800,00

Auction details:
Auction house: Christie’s Shanghai
Sale: 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale)
Sale date: 21 September|6pm
Lots offered: 34