Evenfall - a rare oil painting
We produced the following opinion on an abstract landscape painting before the sale in Ader Auction in Paris in December 2017.
This painting, like many works by T'ang Haywen is a landscape - a central theme of Chinese painting - but it marks a decisive passage in T'ang's oeuvre, from the representation of reality to an evocation of nature, moving.
T'ang does not intend to imitate the Song masters or revive the great Chinese painting. He devotes himself to the representation of his feelings, as strong as they are secret for this Daoist in the West. The mountains are there, inevitable, and mark the immensity of the scene: a red twilight where the instant meets eternity. The title is still; poetic indication of the moment: So quietly I sit alone - And wait for evenfall
The homage is directed towards the West, like those rendered to Cézanne, Turner or Gauguin, and always with the eye and heart of a Chinese. The all-over style, drawn as much from Asia as from the West, already shows this desire for water that will bring him back to ink; and as in other works he explores a vertical space where the atmospheric perspective is the rule.
The expression and the brush are fast, it's a capture. T'ang paints quickly and in music that evening.
When day is done I steal away
To fold my hands in rest,
And of my hours this moment grey
I love the best;
So quietly I sit alone
And wait for evenfall,
When in the dusk doves sweetly moan And crickets call.
With heart of humble gratitude How it is good to bide,
And know the joy of solitude
When one is slow and slips a bit, And life begins to pall,
How sweet it is in peace to sit
I play upon a simple lute,
My notes are faint and few,
But ere my melodies be mute, Pray one be true.
Lord, let the theme be thankfulness! And as I wait my call,
More than noon rapture let me bless Life’s even fall!
Evenfall, poem by Robert William Service (1874 - 1958),
adventurous heart, poet and traveler who celebrated nature and wilderness.
Soir - Even Fall, 1965-70, oil on canvas, 100x80cm, signed lower right.
Inscriptions on the back, by the hand of T'ang Haywen: on top "Oil 5", at the bottom "Soir-Even Fall"