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 Walasse Ting  (1929 - 2010)

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Lived/Active: New York / China/France      Known for: prints, non objective and abstract-design painting

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Xiongquan Ding is primarily known as Walasse Ting

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Ad Code: 2
Walasse Ting
from Auction House Records.
Beauty with a Fan
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Shanghai, China, Walesse Ting is a self-taught painter, sculptor, graphic artist and poet who left China in 1949 and became a United States citizen in 1974.  He traveled and settled for a period in Paris beginning 1953, and became acquainted with artists Karel Appel, Asger Jorn and Pierre Alechinsky, members of the avant-garde group called COBRA.

From 1963, he has lived in New York City and works in a variety of styles ranging from pure non-objectivity to figurative works showing both people and animals.

Exhibitions of his work have been held in Hong Kong, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Milan, Vienna, Madrid and in the United States in New York, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.

Sources include:
American Art Review, December 1997

Biography from
Born in Wuxi, China in 1929, but raised in Shanghai, Walesse Ting is a self-taught painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet who began his life as an artist at a very young age, painting on sidewalks. He left China in 1949 and settled for a six year period in Paris beginning in 1952, where he lived as a poor struggling artist but became acquainted with artists Karel Appel, Asger Jorn, and Pierre Alechinsky, members of the avant-garde group called COBRA.

Ting arrived in New York in 1958 at the height of the Abstract Expressionist period. He befriended the American artist, Sam Francis, and the movement had a profound influence on his work. Unlike in Paris, Ting could paint and sell his work. Bold dripping strokes featured in his paintings, which at that time were mainly poetic abstractions in the manner of the Paris-based Chinese artist, Zao Wouki.  Only in the 1970s did Ting develop his now distinctive style using Chinese calligraphic brushstrokes to define outlines and filling flat areas of colour with vivid acrylic paint.

His fortunes changed when he moved to New York in 1960, where he became involved with pop artists and was influenced buy Abstract Expressionism. Concentrating briefly with abstract techniques, he soon adopted a representational manner which he is continually expanding.  Now, the colorful and flamboyant works of the painter Walasse Ting are among the most admired examples of popular figuratism.

Ting's works are a unique blend of bright fluorescent colors infused by an appreciation for the sensory pleasure of the natural world. Besides painting, Ting has worked on numerous other projects, among them creative direction for theatre, teaching and lecturing. He has also authored a number of books of poetry, the foremost being Red Mouth, containing reproductions of 428 paintings and 33 black and white drawings.

Walasse Ting was presented the Guggenheim Fellowship Award for Drawing in 1970. Public collections which own his work include the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Silkeborg Museum, Denmark; the Museum of Hong Kong; the Chicago Art Institute; and the Musee Cernuschi, Paris.

Ting has had more than 60 solo exhibitions in major art galleries and museums around the world.  After more than 20 years in New York, Ting moved to Amsterdam, where he has a spacious studio. Although he broke away from his Chinese roots so long ago, he finds that the city's trees and canals remind him of Hangzhou's West Lake. Today he lives in both New York and Amsterdam, but like Gauguin, he also often visits Tahiti in search of the exotic colours that he loves.

After suffering a severe brain hemorrhage in 2002 he was no longer able to continue his artistic career. He spent the remainder of his life looked after in a medical institute in Amstelveen, the Netherlands.

He was sometimes referred to by his Chinese name "???" or its various omanizations : Ding Xiongquan or Ting Hsiung-ch'uan.

Biography from Tobin Reese Fine Art:
Walasse Ting was born in Shanghai, China in 1929. In 1953 Walasse moved to Paris where he met contemporary artists such as Pierre Alechinsky, Asger Jorn and Karel Appel. While in Paris he also became affiliated with the artistic group COBRA, which was formed by Appel, Jorn and other to promote the avant-garde art movement. In 1963 he left Paris and resettled in New York City, and there he met other artists such as Sam Francis, Tom Wesselman and Claes Oldenberg. During the 1960s, Walasse’s style developed from one of expressionism to pop-art, often depicting nude women painted in bright, vibrant color schemes. In 1970 Walasse won the Guggenheim Fellowship Award for drawing.

He is the author of thirteen books, including All in My Head (1974), and his most celebrated work, One Cent Life (1964), which contains 62 original lithographs made by 28 European and American artists, with 62 poems by Walasse Ting set in multi-colored inks. The 172 page collection was written by Walasse Ting and edited by Sam Francis. Among the more notable lithographs in the book include work by Walasse Ting, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Joan Mitchell, and Andy Warhol. The book is considered a visual manifesto of 1960s culture.

After a long struggle with a brain injury, Walasse Ting died in 2010. His work can be found in permanent international collections such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Modern Museum in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

Jeff Blackwell for Tobin Reese Fine Art

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Xiongquan Ding is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
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