Tu Hongtao: Dusk
Tu Hongtao: Dusk (2022) merged painterly landscapes with abstraction, drawing inspiration from his journeys in Chengdu, China, and beyond. The exhibition at LGDR, Paris—the artist’s first solo presentation in the city following his European debut at Lévy Gorvy, London, in 2020—presented ten paintings that reflect his contemplations on a rapidly modernizing world.
Premiering in Paris, this body of work explores the intertwining components of natural landscapes—mountains, flora, and organic growth in relation to climate and time. The panoramic compositions of Mountains and Rivers (2020–22) and The Valley After Rain (2020–21) exemplify Tu’s expert layering of different experiences and impressions. The somber colors reflect the artist’s internal struggle with the global effects of the pandemic and personal loss.
Tu’s turn to nature as a source of both structure and disruption becomes evident in The Dynamic Pine Branch (2021) and Shifo Mountain (2021–22), which suggest distinct objects and locales yet dissolve into lush abstract rhythms. The paintings reflect the non-linear narratives and complex spatio-temporal systems that Tu considers characteristic of existence in the contemporary world. Resolute and majestic, they seek strength from history and nature to consider the foundations of perception and painting.
Tu’s work draws upon multiple art historical frameworks across Eastern and Western traditions. Recognizable in his practice is the avant-garde heritage of Chinese abstractionists such as Lin Fengmian, Wu Dayu, and Zao Wou-Ki, synthesized with the painterly innovations of Paul Cézanne—while the influence of such figures as Cy Twombly, Brice Marden, and David Hockney also courses through the works. Tu’s gestural and calligraphic hand reimagines the embodied experience of space, creating a powerful sense of movement that envelops the viewer.