Author: WU GUANZHONG 吴冠中
Signed and dated: Painted in 1988
Estimate: No Reserve
Final Price: RMB 47,000,000
1989 Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist / P113 / Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco，San Francisco
1990 Special Study on Wu Guanzhong / P94 / Han Mo Xuan
2002 Wu Guanzhong: A Retrospective / P28 & 49 / Hong Kong Museum of Art
2003 Wu Guanzhong - Connoisseurs’ Choice II / P120-121 / People’s Fine Arts Publishing House
2007 The Complete Works of Wu Guanzhong Vol. VI / P204-205 / Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House
2008 Great Master of Art in the World: Wu Guanzhong / P182-183 / Hebei Fine Arts Publishing House
2010 Selected Works of Wu Guanzhong / P104-105 / China Fine Arts Publishing House
signed in Chinese with two seals of the artist
1989-1990 Wu Guanzhong: A Contemporary Chinese Artist（Touring Exhibition at San Francisco，Birmingham，Kansas，Ithaca，and Detroit），Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco，San Francisco
2005 Wu Guanzhong: A Retrospective，Shanghai Art Museum，Shanghai
2010 Unbroken Line: In Memory of Wu Guanzhong，Poly Art Museum，Beijing
2011 Remebrance of Wu Guanzhong，Poly Art Museum，Beijing
When I was young I was not moved by the beauty of my home town，but I did take pleasure in the coming and going of the swallows. My ’sentiments for Jiangnan’ in the days to come became the principal source of my painting vocabulary. To explain what I mean by ’sentiments’: there is a poetic feeling and painterly mood in it，and something else besides; but its formal constitution is of principal importance，and even if the swallows fly away，the world created by the painter still remains.
I paint the villages and towns of Jiangnan tirelessly. Because of my feelings for my hometown，so many of my paintings show people’s houses in Jiangnan with their white walls and black tiles. In analysing the formal elements of these paintings，of greatest importance is the contrast between black and white，and the combination of geometrical shapes: squares，rectangles，shallow cubes，triangles，verticals，and horizontals... complex combinations of simple elements achieving a formal beauty based on unity in diversity. This perhaps is the explanation as to why the plain and elegant houses of Jiangnan are such stirring images.
In this picture of Two Swallows a large high wall stands prominently，occupying three-fifths of the area of the picture，and is the main image. In the divisions of the picture plane，its prominence and size give it the dominant position. Of prime importance is the white wall: its building stretches out to the extreme limits of the painting，it tolerates the blackness，the blackness which is stretched out in narrow lines. The only exceptions to this are the upright black strips on the doors and windows which contrast with the wall’s beautiful appearance，and set off its pure whiteness.
The children first discovered the two swallows flying there. Who knows what sounds a poet standing in front of the wall and the door of this secluded and quiet high enclosure would hear? The Dutch painter Mondrian could not see the world of the oriental people living here，but in one glance he would have captured the majestic appearance of this white edifice.
Text adapted from Wu Guangzhong Huihua Xingshi Fenxi