Heavenly Path

Maker(s)
Artist: Hung Hsien (China, active United States, born 1933)
Historical period(s)
Modern period, 1971
Medium
Ink and color on paper
Dimensions
H x W (painting): 143 x 76.9 cm (56 5/16 x 30 1/4 in)
Geography
United States
Credit Line
Gift of Mary Michieli Rollins
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S1998.137
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Painting
Type

Hanging scroll

Keywords
China, Modern period (1912 - present), United States
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Label

Born in 1933 into a family with strong interests in traditional Chinese art and culture, Hung Hsien moved with her parents during China’s political upheavals to Taiwan in 1948. In 1958, she took up residence in Evanston, Illinois, and as can be seen in Heavenly Path, her exposure to Western Abstract Expressionism proved a catalyst to define a new and personal style of painting poised between East and West. She began frequenting galleries and was attracted to Mark Tobey, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning and Henry Moore (the soft curves of the latter’s sculpture are readily apparent in many of Hung Hsien’s works from the 70s). She also began to be attracted by Japanese prints by Hiroshige and Kokusai. After briefly trying oil painting in the mid-60s, she again took up the Chinese brush, but this time she was ready to attempt a synthesis of East and West by combining lyrical Chinese brush strokes with the use of non-representational elements--blocks of color and graphic patterns arranged in subtle variations--which is what Hung Hsien values about the Western Abstract Expressionist movement.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Whistler's Neighborhood
Google Cultural Institute
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