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Li Kuchan [K’u-ch’an]locked

(b Gaotang County, Shandong Province, Jan 11, 1899; d Beijing, June 11, 1983).
  • Mayching Kao

Extract

[K’u-ch’an]

(b Gaotang County, Shandong Province, Jan 11, 1899; d Beijing, June 11, 1983).

Chinese painter, calligrapher and art educator. Coming from a poor peasant family, Li took up hard labour to earn his way through art school in Beijing. He also studied with Xu Beihong and Qi Baishi; the latter considered Li his best student. Li was active as an art teacher in Beijing from 1926, notably at the Central Academy of Fine Arts from 1949 until his death in 1983. He specialized in bird-and-flower painting in the free and spontaneous xieyi (‘sketching the idea’) style that captures the spirit of the subjects through expressive calligraphic brushwork and simplified forms. He was known for his depiction of birds of prey throughout his career, but the works of his later years are particularly free and bold. The phrase ‘Pan of the south and Li of the north’ was coined in recognition of the similarity of Li’s style with that of Pan Tianshou.

Huaniao renwu bufen...

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