His regime softens in 1972. Wu partially resumes his activity, taking his models from nature with a surprising optimism. He loves his country but his inspiration is global.
Plum blossoms, oil on canvas 90 x 70 cm mounted on board, painted in 1973 during a short stay in Beijing, is a masterpiece of his restarting period. This painting is estimated HK $ 35M for sale by Sotheby's on April 4 in Hong Kong, lot 1006.
Oil on canvas is a Western technique, and the domination of color is influenced by both French impressionism and American abstract expressionism but the delicacy of colors avoiding any saturation is Asian. The blooming tree is a prime concern in Chinese lifestyle and the meticulously repeated details got their inspiration in the old masters.
In this painting, Wu captures the utter joy offered by the restart of spring. By the quality and diversity of his later work, he is one of the most important artists of the last quarter of the twentieth century.