painting proper © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2013.159
People
Liu Guosong [Liu Kuo-sung], Chinese (born 1932 )
Title
Wintry Mountains Covered with Snow
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting, hanging scroll
Date
1964
Culture
Chinese
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Hanging scroll; ink on fibrous paper, with artist’s signature and seal
Dimensions
painting proper: 85.4 x 55.8 cm (33 5/8 x 21 15/16 in.)
silk mounting only: 197 x 66 cm (77 9/16 x 26 in.)
mounting, including cord and roller ends: 198.5 x 75 cm (78 1/8 x 29 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: Lower left, black ink: Liu Guosong (Chinese brush-written characters followed by a red seal reading "Liu Guosong"), 1964
  • seal: artist's square red intaglio seal, following signature: "Liu Guosong"
  • inscription: dated signature brush-written in black ink at lower left: "Liu Guosong yi jiu liu si" (Liu Guosong, 1964)
Provenance
Liu Guosong, Taipei (1964), gift; to Chu-tsing Li, Lawrence, Kansas (1964-2012), gift; to his son B U.K. Li, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (2012-2013), gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2013.

Footnotes:
1. Dr. Chu-tsing Li (1920-2014)

Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, The Chu-tsing Li Collection, Gift of B U.K. Li in honor of Chu-tsing Li and in memory of Yao-wen Kwang Li and Teri Ho Li
Accession Year
2013
Object Number
2013.159
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
A grand peak rises above jagged cliffs, partially obscured by roiling winter storms. Reserved areas of paper create the illusion of snow, and white rifts in the brushwork convey the play of clouds over the mountain crags. These irregular gaps appear random and yet suggest a primordial fixity.
To produce these effects, Liu Guosong paints on an artisanal paper in which long, coarse fibers are preserved near the paper’s surface. After applying ink to the paper with a brush and by other means, he pulls out selected filaments to achieve a pictorial effect that is simultaneously representational and abstract.
Liu Guosong, founder of the Fifth Moon Group, came to prominence in Taipei in the 1950s and remained at the forefront of the movement. He had left mainland China for Taiwan in 1949. In recent years, Liu has exhibited on the mainland, and in 2007 his work was featured in the first solo exhibition ever given a living artist at the Palace Museum in Beijing. This painting was included in that landmark exhibition.

Label Text: 32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean , written 2014
A grand peak rises above jagged cliffs, partially obscured by winter storms. Reserved areas of paper create the illusion of snow, while white rifts in the brushwork convey the play of clouds over mountain crags. To produce these effects, the artist created his own paper, in which long, coarse fibers are preserved near the surface. After applying ink, he pulled out selected filaments to achieve a pictorial effect that is both representational and abstract.
One of Taiwan’s most important painters, Liu Guosong was the founding member of the Fifth Moon Group, a coterie of painters active in the 1960s and 1970s who synthesized Western expressionistic styles with traditional Chinese materials, subjects, and formats. Liu has taught many students, including Li Junyi, whose painted handscroll is displayed nearby. More recently Liu has worked and exhibited in mainland China. In 2007 this work was featured in a landmark exhibition at the Palace Museum in Beijing — the first solo exhibition ever offered to a living artist at this historic venue.

Publication History

Liu Kuo-sung, exh. cat., National Museum of History, Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan, 1966), p. 23

Chu-tsing Li, Liu Kuo-sung: The Growth of a Modern Chinese Artist, exh. cat. (Taipei, Taiwan, 1969), fig. 31

Robert D. Mowry and Claudia Brown, A Tradition Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings from the Chu-tsing Li Collection, 1950-2000, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge, Mass., 2007), cat. 12

Palace Museum (Gugong Bowuyuan), ed., Yuzhou xinyin: Liu Guosong huihua yijiazi (Universe in the Mind: Sixty Years of Painting by Liu Guosong), exh. cat., Forbidden City Publishing House (Beijing, 2007), p. 33 (fig. 22) and p. 75

Exhibition History

A Tradition Redefined: Modern and Contemporary Chinese Ink Paintings from the Chu-tsing Li Collection, 1950-2000, Harvard University Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/03/2007 - 01/27/2008; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, 06/28/2008 - 09/14/2008; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, 10/11/2008 - 01/04/2009; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, 02/11/2009 - 05/24/2009

Re-View: S228-230 (Asian rotation: 3), Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/04/2009 - 05/02/2010

Re-View: S228-230 (Asian rotation: 5) Brush and Ink Reconsidered: Contemporary Chinese Landscapes, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 11/23/2010 - 05/14/2011

32Q: 2600 East Asian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 05/31/2015

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu