Zao Wou-ki Dead: China's Highest Selling Living Artist Dies At 93... And More Arts News

04/10/2013 09:56 am ET | Updated Apr 10, 2013

Abstract painter Zao Wou-ki died yesterday at his home in Switzerland according to the Wall Street Journal.

zao wouki

Zao Wou-Ki in front of Homage to Françoise, 23.10.2003, triptych, 195x324 cm, courtesy Feast Projects

Zao, who was recently deemed the highest selling living Chinese artist, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, the Associated Foreign Press reports. He passed away at 93 years old.

Zao was born in Beijing and moved to Paris when he was 28, incorporating a Western modernist aesthetic with Chinese sentiments and techniques. Jonathan Hay described Zao's bifurcated identity in an essay for Malborough Gallery:

His cypher-like signature, to which he has remained faithful for over fifty years, gives his first name in Chinese characters and his last in a Western orthography. It is emblematic of a stranded cultural identity, recognized from the first by sympathetic critics as the key to his artistic direction.

Zao's artistic influenced was finally realized in the later phase of his life; last week a diptych entitled "10.03.83" sold for $4.8 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.

See a slideshow of Zao's work below and head to the Wall Street Journal to see more.

Zao Wou Ki

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