During these twenty years of great creativity of the artist, the drawing is at first realistic, based on a bold setting and on bright colors. Over time a growing interest in composition and geometry leads Wu up to the abstract landscape. The best result from that group, RMB 28M including premium, was recorded on an ink on paper 124 x 124 cm made in 1990 on the theme of the Grand Canyon in America.
I had chosen in 2010 to discuss the earliest artwork, Mount Kilimanjaro, an oil on canvas 100 x 180 cm painted in 1975, which fetched RMB 20M including premium. It is for sale by the same auction house on June 4, lot 4554 estimated RMB 28M.
Wu had completed in 1972 his three years of hard labor during which he had prudently destroyed most of his own work. Returning to full freedom in the following year, he immediately endeavored to redefine modern art by jointly improving his practice of ink on paper and of oil on canvas.
In 1975 his personal situation was completely restored to the point that he was participating in a delegation in Africa to set up the Chinese plant in charge of building the new railway line between Tanzania and Zambia. His contribution consisted of painting for the factory offices a view of each of the two most spectacular sites in East Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Victoria Falls both of which he had not visited however.
He imagined showing the famous snowy summit of the Kilimanjaro emerging over a thick sea of clouds. The clouds covering most of the image hide the valley, leaving a question about the altitude and thus reinforcing the mystical majesty of this mountain.
In the same size his painting of the Falls was sold for RMB 30.8M including premium by Poly in the 2009 autumn sales.
SOLD for RMB 32M including premium