CHU TEH-CHUN (1920 - 2014)
Chu Teh-Chun (Chinese/French, b.1920) is a Chinese artist who established himself in France as an abstract painter. Born in the eastern city of Hangzhou, Chu studied traditional Chinese painting at Hangzhou’s School of Fine Arts. Chu followed the trajectory of many university instructors and students, who moved further west within China due to the 1937 Sino-Japanese War, and became a professor at the University of Nanking. In 1949, he moved to Taipei, where he taught at the National University for a decade and a half, before moving to Paris in 1955. The exposure to European art altered the focus of his career: Chu immersed himself in Western art, painting the Parisian countryside and visiting the Louvre. In 1956 he attended an exhibition of the Abstract works of Nicolas de Stäel, which spurred him to abandon figurative painting for colorful abstractions evocative of landscapes. He gained French recognition for his works during the second half of the 1950s, and his 1964 exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum in Pittsburgh, shows in Jerusalem and Athens, and his participation in the 1969 Sao Paulo Biennial established his international reputation. In the 1970s, Chu returned to the practice of traditional Chinese calligraphy, which he studied as a youth and incorporated calligraphic elements into his paintings. In 1987, the Taipei Museum of National History held a retrospective of Chu’s work, assembling the entirety of his oeuvre for the first time in the 32 years since he left Taiwan. Chu lives and works in Paris today.
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