Chu Teh-Chun

Chinese-French artist, Chu Teh-Chun (1920-2014) was born in Baitu, China. Chu Teh-Chun graduated from National College of Art (now China Academy of Art) in Hangzhou, China in 1941 under the teachings of Lin Fengmian. He taught drawing at the Central University in Nanjing and the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

In 1955, Chu moved to Paris. The following year marked a change in his artistic trajectory when he visited a Nicolas de Staël exhibition whose freestyle brushstrokes inspired Chu to paint increasingly abstract. In the same year, Chu’s portrait of Tung Ching-chao, who he eventually married, earned him the silver medal from the Salon of French Artists in 1957. This France-based artist’s skill at creating expansive imagined landscapes of rolling colour had increasingly led him to be considered among the elite of China's most illustrious modern painters. His broad expressive brush strokes illicit vast unexplored landscapes that are illustrated through a deeply rooted consideration of the traditions of Chinese painting and calligraphy. Nature unfurls within Chu Teh-Chun's canvases by distorting the viewer's expectation of horizon and perspective. His poetic expression of natural expanse uncovers new realms of the abstract form and in doing so conjure an alternative interpretation of the medium and its capabilities. He immersed himself in the core of nature in landscape while remaining true to abstraction.

In recognition of his artistic achievements, Chu was invited to become a lifelong member of l’Institute de France in February 1999, a nomination only given to the most significant living musicians, artists, architects and sculptors in France. In 2006, the European Union awarded him the European Gold Medal of Merit in Luxembourg.

A surging market demand for Chu Teh Chun's work combined with the artists limited output makes an exhibition of this size and quality a notable rarity. A selection of Chu’s most important solo exhibitions in the last two decade are: First Traveling Exhibition in the Far East, French Association for Artistic Action (AFAA), Arts Palace, Beijing, China (1997); Important Works of Chu Teh-Chun: The 50’s in Taichung, New Vision Art Gallery, Taichung, Taiwan (1998); Ecstatic Depths: Recent Paintings 1986-1996, The Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan (1998); Chu Teh-Chun: Paintings, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China (2000); Chu Teh-Chun: Large Gestures (Paintings), Macau Museum of Art, Macau, China (2004); L’Image intérieure atteint sa plénitude dans l’Abstraction, Museum of Fine Arts, Shanghai, China (2005); Chu Teh-Chun: Paintings, Marlborough Gallery, New York, USA (2006); Royal Ueno Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2007); Chu Teh-Chun: Pintura reciente, Marlborough Madrid, Madrid, Spain (2007); Chu Teh-Chun: De neige, d’or et d’azur, Musée Guimet, Paris France (2009); Of Snow, Gold and Sky Blue: Hand-painted Ceramics and Calligraphy by Chu Teh-Chun, Macau, China (2010); Chu Teh-Chun, Retrospective, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2010); Chu Teh-Chun, Retrospective, The National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2010); Chu Teh-Chun: Les chemins de l’abstraction, Pinacothèque de Paris, Paris, France (2013); Colors/Forms: Chu Teh-Chun, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2013).