Mai Trung Thu paintings to be displayed at French exhibition

By Hieu Nhan   May 30, 2021 | 05:34 pm PT
Nearly 140 works by prominent Vietnamese painter Mai Trung Thu will be displayed at an exhibition at the Ursulines Museum in Macon, France, from June to October.

Most of the artworks, comprising oil on canvas, paintings on silk, drawings, photographs, and lithographs, have never been shown to the public before.

The exhibition, 'Écho d’un Vietnam Rêvé' (Echo of A Dreamed Vietnam), will run from June 16 to October 24 and be divided into three parts: Thu’s youth in Vietnam from 1906-1937, his stay in Macon from 1940-1942 when his style underwent a radical change, and his career as a painter in France from 1938-1980.

It will be held with support from and the participation of Mai Lan Phuong, the artist’s daughter, and in partnership with the Cernuschi Museum and the Museum of Asian Arts of Paris.

Mère et Enfant, panier de fruits (Mother and Child, fruit basket) by Mai Trung Thu. Photo courtesy of the exhibition.

‘Mère et Enfant, panier de fruits’ (Mother and Child, fruit basket) by Mai Trung Thu. Photo courtesy of the exhibition.

It was while living in Macon that Thu abandoned oil on canvas to devote himself to painting on silk, inventing a personal style that used lines and colors to depict scenes inspired by life in ancient Vietnam.

In the last few years his paintings have been displayed at many exhibition and auctions worldwide.

In April his oil on canvas work ‘Portrait of Mademoiselle Phuong’ fetched the highest ever price for a Vietnamese painting of US$3.1 million in Hong Kong.

Thu (1906-1980) was named along with Vu Cao Dam, Le Thi Luu and Le Pho as the most prominent artist of the golden age of Vietnamese modern art.

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