Richard Lin (Taiwanese/British, 1933-2011). Aluminum and oil on canvas titled "Vermillion and Yellow," 1969, depicting a minimalist composition of thin bands of color and aluminum on a white and gray ground. Signed, titled, and inscribed with the medium along the verso. A label from Marlborough Gallery, London, England, is affixed to the verso.
"Stillness is very important to me. Painting is my religious expression. It's my altarpiece, something untouched by human hands. Therefore, all gestures disappeared." - Richard Lin
Richard Linís bold style of minimalism took the mid-20th century art world by storm, throughout Europe and Asia. Born in Taiwan in 1933 to a wealthy family, Lin was raised with the expectation that he would one day become heir to the fortune. As a child, he was trained in the traditional arts of calligraphy and garden design, at which he excelled. When he came of age, his family sent him to England for college. While he studied architecture during the day, he was unwilling to give up art, and studied painting by night. Upon his graduation in 1958, he shocked his family by renouncing his fortune and deciding to paint full time.
He soon found success as an artist, first within Britain and soon internationally. He had his first solo show within a year of graduating, at Gimpel Fils. His work drew the respect and praise of his contemporaries, such as Joan Miro. While his work bears some similarities to the American Minimalism Movement of the time, his philosophical grounding was based in Taoist spirituality, which informed many of his choices. After several decades of success in London, Lin moved to the countryside of Wales, where the tranquility and beautiful landscape inspired him.
The present artwork shows Linís mastery of serenity and simplicity. The narrow lines of red and yellow mirror the applied piece of aluminum, standing out from the white and pale gray ground. His use of space and of unusual materials such as aluminum reflect his background in architecture. However, his choice of colors has its roots in something far less industrial: his minimalist compositions are often evocations of the landscapes around him. The bright yellow and vermilion are more than simply pigments; they are the color of the autumn leaves or perhaps vibrant summer flowers in Linís adopted home in Wales. With incredibly subtlety and restraint, Lin renders his religious expression in his art and the world around him.Sight; Height: 14 in x width: 11 3/4 in. Framed; Height: 18 1/4 in x width: 16 1/4 in.
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