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Powerful Richard Lin work leads Bonhams' Modern and Contemporary Art Sale in Hong Kong
From Point No. 790278 by Lee Ufan. Photo: Bonhams.

HONG KONG.- Painting Relief, an elegant and powerful work by Richard Lin, leads Bonhams Modern and Contemporary Art Sale in Hong Kong on 21 November. It is estimated at HK$1,800,000-2,000,000.

The Taiwanese-born Lin (1933-2011), who also exhibited under the name Lin Show-Yu, is considered a pioneer of Chinese abstract art and developed an individual style often described as minimalistic many years before the Minimalism movement acquired its name. He lived and worked for many years in London where he was once visited by the Spanish master Joan Miro who said of Lin’s work, “In the world of white, Lin is without equal.” Painting Relief is an archetypal Lin piece characterized by various shades of white punctuated by an occasional lines of thicker paint, aluminium pieces, and occasional finishing touched in red, yellow, grey or black.

Bonhams Director of Contemporary Art from Asia Ingrid Dudek commented, “Although Richard Lin has been called a Minimalist he does, in fact, stand apart from any formal movement. While the philosophy of Minimalism is rooted in rationality and void of emotion and expression, Lin’s paintings emanate energy and subtle fluid sensuality, hidden within the plain surfaces. Painting Relief is a perfect example of this distinction and a beautiful statement of Lin’s approach to his craft.”

Other major works in the sale include:

The work by the artist known as KAWS – one of the most sought-after young artists in the current market – often features easily recognizable imagery, such as that of the Simpsons, SpongeBob SquarePants, Mickey Mouse, Michelin Man, or hybrid figures somewhere in between. T. N. O. N. – I is from a 50-panel project KAWS executed in 2012, The Nature of Need, each featuring an intensely close expression of the relentlessly optimistic cartoon figure SpongeBob SquarePants. The original series of 50 canvases was sold and arranged in any variety of combinations, allowing for a multiplicity of meanings. T. N. O. N. – I represents four from the series (each canvas or grouping of canvases gained a letter identifying it from the others, i.e., T. N. O. N. – A, T. N. O. N. –B, etc.). The artist is currently featured in his first career retrospective, at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, an exhibition which will travel to the Yuz Museum in Shanghai in the Spring of 2017.

Now in his 80th year, the Korean-born Lee Ufan (1936 - ) is one of the best-recognised Asian artists working today. He was an influential artist/philosopher in both Dansaekwa (“monochrome” painting) in Korea as well as in the Mono-Ha Movement (“The School of Things”) in Japan. Lee’s great breakthrough as a leading Mono-Ha artist and philosopher was to articulate and demonstrate the potential for spiritual reconciliation through humble encounters between objects and form. This revelation led to four important and iconic series, the earliest of which are the From Point paintings from which Point No. 790278 comes.

Wang (b. 1976) has been pursuing the nature of time and its passage since his early acclaimed Terrazzo series. In the Coffin Paint series of 2004, Wang moved away from the figurative and portrayed time’s passage through rich, subtle layers of paint that accumulate depth through the artist’s painstaking process. Wang’s solo exhibition in Pace Gallery, New York in 2012 showed his progression into abstraction. The present work was created by meticulously repeating lines from the center outwards in an almost meditative manner, achieving a halo effect, a material transformation of the spirit rendered in Wang’s exquisite brushwork.

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