Saturday , May 25 2024

Paintings by late artist exhibited

HÀ NỘI – As many as 75 paintings by late artist Nguyễn Ngọc Thọ (1925 – 2016) are on display at the Việt Nam Contemporary Art Theatre in downtown Hà Nội.

This is part of a private collection by Đào Danh Hưng and Trần Cường.

Nguyễn Ngọc Thọ is a famed name of the third generation of Vietnamese modern art, after the “Indochina” and “Revolution” periods.

A visitor at the exhibition. Photo Phương Lan

He is one among the first 76 students of noted painter Tô Ngọc Vân (between 1955 and 1957), the first course of the Việt Nam Fine Arts College after 1954 when peace returned to Hà Nội.

He created paintings of various materials like lacquer, oil on canvas, colour powder, watercolour paint, and wooden carving, a popular material in 1960-1970.

His works have typical Asian features, with significant marks of culture and history praising the beauty of people and nation.

Thọ then worked as a lecturer at the Hà Nội Industrial Fine Arts College (now the Hà Nội Industrial Fine Arts University). He has been highly appreciated for his talent, characteristics, and energy.

He had won various prizes at art exhibitions in and outside the country. He won a Second Level Revolution Medal (in 1986); a Prize in the 35th anniversary of Việt Nam Fine Arts Association; the First Level Labour Medal (1992) and For the Sake of Vietnamese Fine Arts Medal (1997) and For the Sake of Vietnamese Literature and Arts Cause (1999).

The works displayed this time are among nearly 200 paintings stored by collectors Đào Danh Hưng and Trần Cường.

On the Field, oil on canvas, 1990.

Typical works in the collection of Đào Danh Hưng – Trần Cường include lacquer paintings Young Girl and Old Street, Hanoian Young Girl, Tiger, A Herd of Horses; oil on canvas paintings: On the Field; Space Abstract; Tornado Abstract; Thăng Long; colour powder on paper paintings: Hải Phòng Cast Iron Factory, A Female Engineer, An Irrigation Site; watercolour on paper painting: Bạch Đằng Ship Building Factory, A Buffalo, A Farm; coal pencil on paper painting: A Miner, A Break Time, Hope.

Collector Đào Danh Hưng (born in 1955) was born into a family with a tradition of collecting artworks.

Hưng himself concentrated on the work since the 1990s and has gathered many artworks by painters of the Indochina period including a painting collection by famed collector Bùi Đình Thản, who was known as Đức Minh (1920 – 1983).

Hưng’s son-in-law, Trần Cường, has been working as an art collector as well.

In 2012 – 2013, a neighbour of painter Ngọc Thọ introduced Cường and his father-in-law to Thọ and they often visited Thọ’s house and watched him work.

Thọ then sold paintings to Cường’s family to have some money to cover his hospital fees.

Hải Phòng Cast Iron Factory, Gouache on paper, 1967.

“We discussed such an exhibition when painter Thọ was really weak,” said Cường. “Though he was professionally trained in the art, the painter had not sent his paintings to any gallery and rarely shared them with the public. This exhibition is like a commitment between my family and the painter.”

Cường said after the exhibition, his family intended to print a book on the collection and host another exhibition on the painter’s 100th birthday anniversary.

The exhibition will run till January 2 at No 16 Lê Thái Tổ Street. VNS

A Rooster, lacquer.

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