Chu Teh-Chun (1920-2014)
Chinese abstract painter, French naturalized citizen, Chu Teh-Chun was born in Hangzhou, in the eastern China. Here he attended the Fine Art Academy studying with Lin Fengmian, Chinese modern art father. He initially dedicated to the Chinese traditional style, but his interest soon headed to the Western painting. In 1937, because of the Sino-Japanese war, as many other teachers and university students of East-China he moved to the west. He settled in Nanjing, where became teacher of the Local University in 1942. In 1949 he moved to Taipei, where taught at the National University, before moving to Europe. In 1955 he arrived in Paris where he stayed for the rest of his life (he got the French citizenship in 1980). The meeting with the Western and European art represented a fundamental turning point in his career. Between the artists who determined his painting evolution, there was Nicolas De Staël: impressed by his abstract works, he decided to abandon figurative art to devote to a colorful and evocative abstractionism. The result was a unique and unmistakable style, full of echoes and references to traditional Chinese calligraphy, which earn an immediate success in France. In 1956, one of his works received the Silver Medal at the Spring Salon. In 1964, thanks to a solo exhibition at Pittsburgh Carnegie Art Museum he became famous at international level: within a few years, he exhibited in Jerusalem, Athens and in 1969 participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale. In 1987, the National History Museum in Taipei dedicated a major retrospective, bringing to 30 years after his death, all his work in Taiwan. He died in Paris, in March 2014. Today his works are exhibited in the permanent collections of over 50 museums worldwide and auctioned at record prices.