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Painter Wu Guanzhong: from poor backgrounds to art, visiting famous teachers in Paris, studying hard and never ending up.

2018-06-25 09:35 beijing evening news TF2018

Standing on the shoulders of time, Wu Guanzhong's Chinese painting is not very deep, and the understanding of traditional Chinese painting may not be as good as that of his teacher Pan Tianshou. Perhaps, precisely because of this, Wu Guanzhong has the courage and ability to push "Chen" in traditional Chinese painting to create "new" Chinese painting. If you are not deep enough, you can get the meaning and forget the shape, take the soul and discard its shell.

Author: Sun Xiaofei


Meeting Zhu Dequn and changing life

Wu Guanzhong said his boyhood was "bitter melon life". In fact, compared with most people at that time, these were "little fresh and little pain". He said in his own account, "my family has ten acres of paddy fields, which is poorer than the rich households, but poorer households can barely get close to the local small family, because the growing number of children is becoming more and more difficult. My cattle, pigs and toilet were crowded together, and the toilet was very smelly. I often went to the fields to urinate. My father did not prohibit this, but said that urine should be scattered in his own field, which is fat. My family also keeps chickens, about five or six. It was dark, and the chickens went home by themselves. So we need to carry the lamp to count the number of chickens. Will there be one less? Then close the door of the henhouse.

Such a life is rich in pastoral, but in Wu Guanzhong's eyes, it is all grey and can not be recalled. As he said, "childhood cognition is poor."

Wu Guanzhong was born in North Canal Village, zhkou Township, Yixing County, Jiangsu Province in 1919. This is a typical Southern Yangtze River. People mainly depend on rice, silkworm and fishing. Jiangnan talent, Wu Guanzhong and Xu Beihong's hometown of Wuxi, is more talented.

Wu Guanzhong's father is a teacher in a rural primary school and a farmer working in the lower farmland. His mother was illiterate from a broken family. Such a family structure made Wu Guanzhong have a bookish atmosphere at her own age, and also had the "broken down noble spirit" left behind by her mother, and even the rustic air of her father's father. These scent, mixed with Wu Guanzhong, form Wu Guanzhong's unique personal charisma.

Wu Guanzhong has deep feelings for his mother. Everything in his mother, in his view, has a natural poetic nature. This kind of poetic nature may also be introduced into the body of Wu Guanzhong by gene, so that this stubborn rural child has a little sentimental feeling. Wu Guanzhong evaluated her mother in this way. "Illiteracy is not necessarily blind, and mother has an aesthetic taste. She is sensitive and emotional." The sensitive temperament of her mother may cause her insomnia. This temperament is not easy to get along with others, which makes her and her husband "really indifferent." This kind of character has influenced Wu Guanzhong more or less.

Wu Guanzhong "suffers from insomnia after middle age, and the older the disease is, the heavier it is." In Wu Guanzhong's view, insomnia is the most bitter thing in life. Wu Guanzhong said, "I sympathize with my poor mother, and heaven does not allow me to inherit the health of my father. No one has chosen the freedom of reincarnation. Bitter gourd vine bears bitter melon seeds. In my later years, I made an oil painting "bitter melon home". Bitter, always entwined me, permeated into the heart. However, this kind of life's "bitter" is not worth mentioning to his fellow townsman, Xu Beihong, who travels dozens of miles in three schools a day.

When Wu Guanzhong was 6 years old, his father founded and supported the Wu primary school in Wu's ancestral hall. He was transferred from the ancestral hall of Wu's ancestral hall to the headmaster of Wu's primary school. Wu Guanzhong became the first village primary school student in Wu's ancestral hall as the classroom.

According to Wu Guanzhong, the primary school, "even the father of three teachers, two grades together in a classroom, students are a group of small partners running their noses."

At that time, Wu Guanzhong had no predestination for art. He always praised books and studied all the time. After graduating from primary school, he was admitted to the goose hill high school in the town of Qiao and lived ten miles away from home, and started boarding life.

At a very young age, everything should be taken care of by oneself, which was almost normal in boarding schools at that time. Perhaps it is related to the experience of raising lanterns and driving chickens into the cage at an early age. The eldest son of this multi family family, who is at the height of ten li away from home, has no pressure on his personal life, and his academic record is also very satisfactory. In one semester, Wu Guanzhong scored the first in the class. Such a result inspired Wu Jiaquan's family and encouraged Wu Guanzhong himself. "Gao Xiao graduated, and I should dare to enter the middle school and the famous middle school in Jiangnan, and I'm confident of myself."

But for a multi family home, the father should not only consider the growth of the eldest son, but also consider the affordability of the family, and consider the growth opportunities of Wu Guanzhong's siblings. Therefore, although Wu Guanzhong has shown superhuman learning ability, his father will not allow him to enjoy the opportunity of personal development alone. He has already reached the senior high school Wu Guanzhong, and the task is how to get employed as soon as possible and become one of the economic sources of his family.

Wu Guanzhong said in his statement that his father had heard that Luo society had some rural normal schools and had no cost. After four years of graduation, he became a junior teacher in the countryside, but it was extremely difficult to test because there were many poor students. I am not afraid of difficult examinations, but I do not want to be a small teacher. Wuxi normal school is a famous school. After graduation, he was a teacher at high school, like a teacher in goose primary school. But before reading free high school teachers, we need to read three years of junior high school. Make every effort at home, Nabe Uritetsu, let me read junior high school for three years, and I wish to enter Wuxi normal school. With excellent grades, I get almost every semester of the Jiangsu Provincial Department of education's cold students scholarships, dozens of dollars, which seems to be a public expense, greatly reducing the pressure on the family.

Goose primary school is doomed to wait for Wu Guanzhong who can not afford to be talented. Even his father can not wait for a son who lives according to his plan. When we should enter the normal school, Wu Guanzhong's "ambition" or "desire" expands with age. He said in his statement: "after I finished junior high school, I didn't want to enter the normal school. Because the students laughed at themselves, the normal students were porridge and had no future. I changed my mind to the Electrical Engineering Department of the Provincial Industrial Vocational School of Zhejiang University, and the way to save the country by industry is guaranteed, but it is even more difficult to test. I got into the exam, but I didn't intend to be led into the confused starry sky by the God of fate.

If such a path is taken, Wu Guanzhong may become a technology celebrity like his fellow townsman Qian Weichang, or at least become a cultural celebrity like his other countryman, Qian Zhongshu, but neither his parents nor himself himself has come to a completely different road.

The education system at that time stipulated that college freshmen should have collective military training. After a year of reading at the Senior Vocational School of Zhejiang University, Wu Guanzhong will concentrate on military training in the summer vacation. During the military training, he and Zhu Dequn, a preparatory member of the national Hangzhou Academy of Arts (later Wu Guanzhong, Zhu Dequn and Zhao Wuji, called "the three swordsman of France") were compiled in the same company's same class. And his encounter with Zhu Dequn changed Wu Guanzhong's own life. Wu Guanzhong talked about this change process: "one Sunday, he took me to visit their art school. I have seen pictures and sculptures that I have never seen before, and are strongly affected by the strange world. Maybe it is like a baby's eyes opening. I began to face beauty and beauty, and she struck a young heart easily. She captured many virginal captives and willingly took captives for her. At the age of seventeen, I threw myself at her feet and headed for the beauty of the universe. I completely forgot that I was a poor peasant farmer. I decided to go to the electrical Department of Gao Gong in Zhejiang University for making a living in the future.

That year was 1936, and Wu Guanzhong was 17 years old. It was from then on that he was like a wild horse who refused to go back to the trough, "determined and even desperately wanted to abandon the electrical engineering department and transfer to the art school from scratch."

Father's grief and disappointment can be imagined. The father objected, because he heard that the painter had no way out. For a hardship family, practicality is always more direct than art.

But fortunately, despite his father's strong opposition, he did not stop Wu Guanzhong's choice. Father watched the 17 year old son with his eyes open, and embarked on a road he did not understand or know the future.

Minor in traditional Chinese painting and Western painting in Hangzhou Art College

Before that, however, Wu Guanzhong did not have an artistic foundation and had no systematic training in art. This young man was ignorant and ignorant when he rushed into Mousika's home. It was not good enough to compare with those who had been influenced by art. Fortunately, the accumulation of knowledge and cultural background in early years enabled Wu Guanzhong to have capital to come back from behind. Although the artistic foundation was not good, Wu Guanzhong's intelligence and diligence, which was born with him, still set a solid foothold in the art school.

Luckily, Wu Guanzhong caught up with the best era of Chinese art. Founded in 1928, Hangzhou National Art College, the first principal, is Lin Fengmian, who has just stepped down from the post of president of Peiping national art college. In those days, because of Cai Yuanpei's great support, Lin Fengmian, who had a low seniority, achieved a lot of achievements. Many of the teachers employed by Lin Fengmian came back from France: Lin Wenzheng, Wu Dayu, Cai Weilian (Cai Yuanpei's daughter, one of the early important oil painters in the early twentieth Century), Li Chaoshi, Lei Guiyuan, Li Chaoshi, Fang Qian min, and so on, all of them were the elite of western modern art education.

The artists and art educators who returned from abroad, and the methods of cultivating Chinese students, are exactly the same as their French teachers. From teaching methods to teaching points, they are hardly two to France.

In the school library, most of the artistic materials came from France, and later occupied the Russian realistic art, which was the main position of the Chinese art education system. It failed to get into the teaching framework of the school, so that Wu Guanzhong was very strange when he heard Repin's name.

While fully embracing the western modern art, Lin Fengmian asked the students to have a full sense of sketching. The school stipulates that all freshmen are required to learn sketch for three years in the attached middle school before they can formally enter junior college.

Such harsh demands may be a bitter experience for other students with better foundation, but for those who have no artistic skills, Wu Guanzhong can just fill in the courses left behind in the past and lay a solid foundation for them.

There is information that Wu Guanzhong's art teacher is Miu Zuyao, his father's old friend. In Wu Guanzhong's book "ink and ink equal to zero", Wu Guanzhong describes: "Miao teacher can draw anything, paint landscapes, paint red roses and peonies, paint woodcutter and fishermen. Once, my father made a pen container with straw paper and paste it on white paper. Professor Mu painted a fisherman, a big bird and a big clam on it. After painting, he explained to me that it was a story of the struggle between the two.

There was no information to prove that Wu Guanzhong had learned painting from Miao Shu Yao, but there was no information that Wu Guanzhong began to study painting at that time. From the analysis of the information conveyed by Wu Guanzhong's self described articles, Wu Guanzhong's view of Miu Zuyao's painting is probably only one of the children's leisure ways. Wu Guanzhong liked to go to miss Mu's office for some time, and there were other "careful thoughts": "when he took a break, he always took some copper plates and asked me to go to the small tea shop to buy snacks such as crisp sugar and moon cakes, and I would give them a small piece each time."

This small snack is an excellent temptation for many siblings and Wu Guanzhong.

It can be said that Wu Guanzhong, who has not systematically studied painting, can just learn from the traditional Hangzhou art school without being subjected to traditional burden and open his heart to accept a new world.

However, the Hangzhou art school has adopted an educational view of combining Chinese and western in the establishment of the Department, which has also had a profound impact on Wu Guanzhong. Wu Guanzhong, who had no knowledge of traditional Chinese painting, was able to take a look at the techniques of Chinese art history and traditional Chinese painting under the guidance of Pan Tianshou. Wu Guanzhong followed Pan Tianshou to learn Chinese painting for a year, "copying the works of four great landscape painters of Shi Tao, Hong Ren, eight, Banqiao and Yuan Dynasty".

This year, perhaps only Wu Guanzhong's basic training in Chinese painting, has also aroused Wu Guanzhong's deep love for Chinese painting. In November 1937, all the teachers and students began to live in exile under the leadership of President Lin Fengmian. With the spread of the war, the site was relocated seven times in eight years. Wu Guanzhong said in his memory article: "schools are constantly moving away from school. There are Japanese planes bombing all the way. In Yuanling, Hunan, there were almost three days in alarm, but they didn't really throw bombs. So in the alarm, I simply stayed in the library copying ancient paintings, so that the manager locked me in, and he went up the mountain and went to the shelter."

In 1938, Lin Fengmian had to resign from the headmaster for various reasons, and the education idea of art school also changed greatly. In 1939, the painting and painting of Hangzhou National Art Academy were officially separated. Wu Guanzhong finally gave up traditional Chinese painting and selected western painting, but he himself said, "the factors of traditional Chinese painting continue to ferment in the depths of my thoughts and feelings, and with the passage of time and learning accumulation, I have come to realize that Chinese painting and Western painting are different from tools, but they are consistent in the nature of art."

Standing on the shoulders of time, Wu Guanzhong's Chinese painting is not very deep, and the understanding of traditional Chinese painting may not be as good as that of his teacher Pan Tianshou. Perhaps, precisely because of this, Wu Guanzhong has the courage and ability to push "Chen" in traditional Chinese painting to create "new" Chinese painting. If you are not deep enough, you can get the meaning and forget the shape, take the soul and discard its shell.

Studying in Paris for oil painting

In 1942, Wu Guanzhong, a graduate of Hangzhou National College of art, became a teaching assistant at Chongqing University. In 1946, Wu Guanzhong took the first place in the national tuition study abroad. The God of art lets Wu Guanzhong give up Chinese paintings for a short time, return to the hometown of western paintings, drink the nutrition of western paintings, come back to nurture and transform traditional Chinese paintings, and finally make traditional Chinese paintings change rapidly in his hands.

In the spring of 1947, Wu Guanzhong left his parents and his new wife Zhu Biqin and left China for Paris, France. He described the exciting scene when he first arrived in Paris in the hope of reaching the end of the world. "I arrived in Paris, not a dream, but it was true. I really arrived in Paris."

In France, Wu Guanzhong studied from sufir, and went to the Paris National Higher Education Institute, Academy of Fine Arts, to study oil paintings in the workshop of Professor sufir PI. Sufir leather not only deeply influenced Wu Guanzhong's artistic concept, but also gave strong support to Wu's choice on the issue of returning to China.

In 1950, when Wu Guanzhong returned to school, Wu Guanzhong's parting advice was: "art is a crazy emotional enterprise. I can't teach you. Maybe your decision is right. You should go back to China and send new shoots from your traditional foundation before seventeenth Century."

This French study experience completely changed Wu Guanzhong.

A paragraph written by Wu Guanzhong helps us understand the difference between his French teacher and Wu Dayu and Pan Tianshou.

In France, Wu Guanzhong received education and training, a scenario never imagined by Chinese teachers: "when I was studying in Paris, our studio accepted four frescoes of the Paris Conservatory: classical music, medieval music, romantic music and modern music. When creating sketches, it is necessary to draft the four kinds of musical features, such as the abstract lines and the abstract composition, for example, to express classical elegance in a balanced and harmonious layout, and to celebrate the romantic passion with unrestrained lines. Then organize the characters: dancing girl, playing musical instrument, poet Homa... And the combination of these characters, whose high, low, horizontal, oblique, straight and straight, must be closely integrated with the abstract form line composition of the form before, so as to ensure that the rhythm characteristics of each work are highlighted.

There is no doubt that such training is not only different from traditional Chinese painting, but also different from that of the previous generation of painters in Western painting. Sufir's guidance to Wu Guanzhong is beyond the scope of most traditional Chinese painters: using lines to represent abstract musical melodies, rather than reproducing specific images; visualized music, and can be expressed concretely in lines, but beyond the scope of visual objects.

From this description, it is easy to find the abstract elements in Wu Guanzhong's ink painting, which is related to such learning background. It is because of this experience that Wu Guanzhong has made revolutionary innovations in Chinese painting.

Turning to Chinese painting in rural life

In 1950, Wu Guanzhong returned home and taught at China Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1953, Wu Guanzhong was transferred to the pure technical course of the Department of architecture, Tsinghua University. Wu Guanzhong, who left "Yangmei", wanted to integrate into the times and be an artist acceptable to the times. But unfortunately, the times always had their own preferences and had their own values. In the 50s of last century, it did not belong to Wu Guanzhong.

Wang Zhijie, his student, recalled that Mr. Wu painted a picture of a big red flower that reflects the lives of workers, peasants and soldiers. "At that time, his family lived in cinder Hutong. One day he took me to see his recent work. After entering the door, I saw a piece of cloth hanging on his wall. When he lifted the cloth, I was startled on the spot. In the picture, an old peasant sits on a chair, full of cloth and wearing an octagonal hat. Because Wu had a special liking for the style of impressionist painter Cezanne and so on. The faces, clothes and hats of the characters were all blue and slightly yellowed. Only a big red flower was left in the chest. Wang Zhijie said to Wu Guanzhong, "the workers and peasants class can only use the red tone of the fire and should be reflected in the red blood. If the work is published, the consequences will be quite frightening. "

It was Wu Guanzhong's initiative to close to mainstream art, but it disappointed him. Helpless, Wu Guanzhong chose landscape painting. During this period, what impressed the domestic art circles was his sketching in Jinggangshan in 1959 and the sketching works in Tibet in 1961. Xu Beihong's student AI Zhongxin commented in his "oil painting demeanour" that "Wu Guanzhong, who pays great attention to the fine brushwork of ink, is increasingly showing his musical sense of oil painting color and pen skills in his recent landscape paintings."

In 1970, Wu Guanzhong, a teacher of "Gong Mei", went to Licun, Hebei, with all the teachers and students. Here, Wu Guanzhong, who is infatuated with art, bought a small blackboard written in the village as a sketchpad. He used the trash basket of his hometown as an easel and insisted on his artistic creation. The students laughed him as a "basket maker".

Objectively speaking, this period of life has great influence on Wu Guanzhong. He himself said in his article, "illiteracy is not equal to illiteracy. My paintings are concrete. When I failed to paint, they still said, "good, I feel as if I had cheated them and felt guilty. When I succeeded in painting, I was satisfied with it. When the villagers saw it, they cried out:" what a beautiful thing! "

During that period, Wu Guanzhong painted sorghum, corn, wax gourd and pomegranate, "or red or golden, full of heartbreaking natural light." The sensitive observation and treatment of color and point and line rhythm are the artistic qualities Wu Guanzhong distinguishes from others. For example, the same is the mulberry garden in the countryside. In his eyes, there is a "dense interlaced line structure". Therefore, familiar scenes can be found in a special form of beauty. In the rural hillsides and fields, the location is constantly changing for the purpose of "finding, selecting, matching and organizing both the picturesque and reasonable composition". Therefore, the same rural life brings Wu Guanzhong different artistic feelings. This experience led Wu Guanzhong to immerse himself in the purgatory of art and voluntarily abandon the oil paintings with strong Western colors, and gradually turn to Chinese paintings with strong Chinese culture.

After 1976, the era of Wu Guanzhong finally arrived. The spring river is warm, and Wu Guanzhong is sensitive to anticipate that the new era is about to open. So he broke away from his throat for a long time, cleared his voice and boldly sang to the new age. In May 1979, Wu Guanzhong published "the beauty of painting" in the art magazine. He openly discussed the problem of art form and aroused strong repercussions in the Chinese art circles. In this sensational article, Wu Guanzhong put forward a slogan that has affected today: oil painting must be nationalized and Chinese painting must be modernized.

In March 1980, Wu Guanzhong published in the fine arts that "plastic art is inseparable from the study of the beauty of human body", pointing out that the beauty of human body is the basic skill of plastic arts. In this article, Wu Guanzhong, a well educated scholar, has profoundly analyzed the beauty of modeling in western modern art, which comes from the beauty of human body.

In October of that year, he published "abstract beauty" in the Journal of fine arts. He pointed out that "abstract beauty is the core of formal beauty". In order not to be stimulated by his ideas, Wu Guanzhong suggested that abstract cultural resources not only came from the west, but also existed in traditional paintings of China, and more such artists expressed the abstract world in the way of Chinese painting. The publication of several articles made Wu Guanzhong famous in the art circles at home and abroad. The Jiangsu branch of the Chinese Artists Association and the Jiangsu Art Museum co sponsored the exhibition of Wu Guanzhong's works. He also served as the "Sixth National Art Exhibition" judge in second, and became a member of the National Committee of the Chinese people's Political Consultative Conference at the age of 66 at the age of 66.

Professor Mike Sullivan, a research fellow in the history of art, once said, "only by publishing words is enough to make him occupy a place in the art world. In particular, his strong, concise and frank way of expression can match Van Gogh, who he admired.

But he himself said, "the more I go to old age, the more I feel that painting technology is not important, and connotations are most important. Painting art is limited in plane, many emotions can not be expressed, and can not be as sociable as literature. " He said, "I should not learn Dan Qing. I should learn literature and become a writer like Lu Xun. From this point of view, it is Dan Qing who bears me. " However, from the point of view of Chinese painting innovation, Wu Guanzhong has never lost his life.

During the war of resistance against Japan, Wu Guanzhong's Hangzhou National Art College moved to Bishan, Chongqing. Young Wu Guanzhong saw the local girl wearing a big red coat. One day, he made a surprise and made a big red Pao on his body. At 23:57 on June 25, 2010, Wu Guanzhong died in Beijing at the age of 91. "When Mr. Wu left, he had an old red jacket with a pair of sneakers on his feet." His student Liu Jude said sentimentally.

 

Source: Beijing Evening News

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