Walasse Ting (1929 – 2010, originally Ding Xiongquan) was an artist and poet born into a wealthy family in Shanghai where he trained briefly at the Shanghai Art Academy before moving to Hong Kong. When he was twenty-one he moved to Paris and eight years later, in 1958, he moved to New York at the height of the abstract expressionist movement. After a famously dissolute lifestyle of promiscuity and parties, he suffered a brain hemorrhage in 2002 in Amsterdam and died in 2010 in New York.
Ting’s own painting varies somewhat but primarily focuses on female nudes set in lush floral contexts. He would typically define a figure with Chinese calligraphic brushstrokes and then fill in blank spaces with bright acrylic colors. He was a close friend of Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann and his paintings quite obviously show their influence.
While his works are held in major institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Tate Modern, his crowning achievement is a book compiled with Sam Francis entitled 1¢ Life:
In 1964 he and Sam Francis published the legendary book 1¢ Life with sixty-eight original colored lithographs from artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol and of course Ting himself; it’s an indispensable reference to the art of the time.
Ting’s poetry is the only text for the lushly illustrated book and it serves to weave together the wildly diverse work, both pop and abstract expressionist, of twenty-eight other artists.
Ting’s paintings have since 1990 been shown primarily in Asia. He had his major first retrospective at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in 2010.
Books with Walasse Ting available from Boreas Fine Art:
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