Eight-six Chinese Paintings Open Gianguan Auctions March 18 Sale
Tieguai Li, The Emaciated Immortal, 1944, by Qi Baishi
"Imperial Hawk" by Zhao Ji, Northern Song Dynasty
Gianguan Auctions, New York's premier resident Asian art auction house, is pleased to announce that its Asia Week Sale on Sunday, March 18, will open with a morning session of eighty-six Chinese paintings. Included are four by Zhang Daqian and six by Qi Baishi. Previews begin on Saturday, March 10 and continue through Saturday, March 17.
Both Zhang Daqian (1899 - 1983) and Qi Baishi (1864 -1957) made headlines in 2011 for breaking the auction records of Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
Kwong Lum, proprietor of Gianguan Auctions, said the collection of Chinese scroll paintings, dating from the Qing Dynasty to the Republic Period, includes properties for both elite buyers and mid-range collectors.
The catalog cover lot (#56) is Lin Fengmian's "Beauty," an oil on silk full-length portrait of a Chinese woman in evening attire set against a night sky.
The upper tier scroll paintings include Zhao Ji's (Song Huizong) "Imperial Hawk," a Northern Song Dynasty ink and color on silk (Lot 36) and Ming Dynasty painter Lin Liang's "Geese and Reed" (Lot 34). Estimates are available on request. Continuing the animal theme, a thoughtful 17th C. work entitled "Elephant Wash" by Ding Yunpeng (1547-1628) is expected to bring a minimum of $60,000.
Among the landscapes are Ma Yuan's "Cliff Mountain," (Lot 53) and "Shangri-la" by Ni Yuanlu (Lot 80). Estimates on these lots are also by request. Zhang Daqian's "Ink Splashed Mountains," offers a modern treatment of the traditional subject matter with splashes of blue and teal clouds against the monochromatic mountainous landscape. It carries a $150,000 low estimate.
The landscapes continue with a Qing Dynasty painting "Plum Blossom and Bamboo," by Wang Shishen. Through his hand the attributes of spring burst forth in a monochromatic scheme. Similarly, a more modern painting, "Sunset on Ridge," 1948, by Pan Tianshou offers a modernist, nearly abstract portrayal of the countryside. Both are estimated at $50,000 to $60,000.
Meanwhile, collectors leaning toward prestige paintings will find the Emperor Qianlong's "Script Calligraphy of a Poem," 1757, accessible at between $15,000 and $20,000.
Modern paintings include Cheng Shiafa's "Visitors," 1982, portraying Chinese women sharing a moment by an open fire, (Lot 62), and "Peach for Longevity," (Lot 34) both with catalog estimates of $20,000 - $30,000.
While some collectors will find the Xu Wei's Ming Dynasty "Chrysanthemum and Rock," dated 1591, compelling, others will be attracted to a contemporary rendering of the natural world. "Autumn Lotus Pond," by Wu Qingxia, dated 1978, is a colorful and spare study of cranes and birds among lotus.
Yet another favorite subject, scholars, is brought to life in Fu Baoshi's "A Gathering of Three Scholars." The ink and color on paper presents the trio in a naturalistic setting with tree branches and rock defining the space. It carries a catalog estimate of upwards of $100,000.
Finally, Qi Baishi's "Tieguai Li, The Emaciated Mortal," 1944, a provocative look at humanity, is estimated at $100,000 to $150,000.
For details on the paintings in the morning session of Gianguan Auctions March 18 sale, please visit www.gianguanauctions.com. An afternoon session offers a collection of fine Chinese ceramics, including a famille-rose reticulated double-walled vase similar to the one sold in Bainrbidge, England last fall. All are documented in the online catalog.
Gianguan Auctions is located at 295 Madison Avenue, New York. Catalogs and condition reports may be obtained by calling 212-226- 2880
Mary Ann Lum