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Range:Wu Guanzhong ( Chinese: 吴冠中; August 29, 1919 ) is a contemporary Chinese painter. Wu has painted various aspects of China including much of its architecture, plants, animals, people, as well as many of its landscapes and waterscapes in a style reminiscent of the impressionist painters of the early 1900s. He is also a writer on contemporary Chinese art.
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Wu Guanzhong was born in Yixing, Jiangsu Province, in 1919. In 1935, Wu passed the entrance exam and studied engineering at Zhejiang Industrial School (浙江公立工业专门学校, a technical school of Zhejiang University) in Hangzhou. In 1936 he transferred to the National Arts Academy of Hangzhou, studying both Chinese and Western painting under Pan Tianshou (1897-1971) and Lin Fengmian (1900-1991). In 1942 he graduated from National Arts Academy, Hangzhou and in 1947 traveled to Paris to study at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts on a government scholarship.
Wu Guanzhong introduced aspects of Western art to his students at the Central Academy of Art in Beijing, where he taught from 1950 to 1953. The Academy was known to have been dominated by social realism and Wu was called "a fortress of bourgeois formalism". Between 1953 and 1964 he taught at Tsinghua University, Beijing and then Beijing Fine Arts Normal College. He was appointed a Professor at the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts, Beijing in 1964 and remained there until 1979. In 1991 Wu was made an Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.Early in his career Guanzhong adopted the pen name Tu, which he uses to sign his work.
Wu Guanzhong is an energetic and creative artist who excels equally in oil and ink painting. For decades he has been exploring ways of reconciling the two traditions, and in his work shows a mutual influence of Chinese and Western styles. His early works which depicted Jiangnan river houses as a major theme were highly poetic. Special emphasis was given to the mix and match of points, lines and surfaces in his composition. His outdoor landscapes are wonderfully conceived, involving selection of different vantage points as the artist seeks the subtle movements and serene presence of nature through painted forms.
Wu Guangzhong has had solo exhibitions in major art galleries and museums around the world, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Korea, England and the USA[citation needed]. His paintings were exhibited at the British Museum in 1992. One his paintings, Seascape at Beidaihe (1977), was shown at Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of an exhibition of paintings from the collection of art dealer Robert H. Ellsworth. His work may also be in the collection of Hong Kong Museum of Art[citation needed].
In 2008, Wu donated 133 works to The Singapore Art Museum (SAM). This donation comprises the largest Wu Guanzhong donation in a public museum.
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