Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The people and landscape of Hà Nội from the 1950-60 period are reflected at an exhibition of late artist Lê Văn Xương (1917-88).
This is the first time his family has showcased 101 paintings of Hà Nội to commemorate his 101st birthday under the theme “Choses Magnifiques” (Magnificent Things).
Curator and art critic Ngô Kim Khôi said the exhibit is a chance to see how Hà Nội has changed as time has passed.
“The paintings take us to a journey to discover the city through the perspective of a prominent artist and then we can understand his love for the city,” he said.
Xương had the chance to learn fine arts starting in 1929 when his parents sent a tutor to teach him at home. He was known for portraits and landscape paintings by pastel and watercolour.
Critic Quang Việt remarked that Xương was a talented artist. Xương was one of a few artists in Việt Nam who had four solo exhibitions held before 1954, because the war at the time made such events challenging.
Xương opened his first solo exhibition in 1941 in HCM City, then had other exhibitions in Hà Nội and Đà Lạt.
The most impressive exhibition was organised in 1953 at the Hà Nội Opera House with the participation of politicians, diplomats, businessmen and art lovers. Painter Bùi Xuân Phái attended the exhibition and left a testimonial. It says: “Xương is workaholic and I can see his bright future. He is good at painting in pastels”.
“His art is like a serene symphony produced by a modest soul,” said Việt.
“He expressed himself as a person who is vibrant as he takes in nature, peaceful life and people.”
During his career, Xương created about 1,000 paintings and 100 sculptures. He could play various musical instruments such as violin, piano, accordion, mandolin and Hawaiian guitar.
The exhibition will run until September 23 at Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel, 2 Công Trường Lam Sơn Street, District 1, HCM City.
On the occasion, his family also presented the book Drawing with Serenity, depicting the life, career and excellent artworks of painter Xương. — VNS