Theodora and Justinian I Andrew Lui

Acrylic and Ink on Rice Paper Mounted on Board
28 × 33 inches
71.12 × 83.82 cm
Framed Size
31 × 36 inches
78.74 × 91.44 cm

Loose gestural swathes intersect energetically with vigorous lines in gold, red-orange, mauve and grey to form a dynamic abstract composition in this 33 inch wide ink and acrylic painting on rice paper. The colorful forms created are suggestive of horses and figures – undulating between foreground and background to express a narrative. The title refers to Theodora, the powerful 6th century Byzantine empress who ruled the empire as an equal to her husband, Justinian I. The colours in Lui's work are similar to those in a mosaic of the empress and her attendants in the Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy. Born in Guangzhou, China, Lui participated in the Chinese Cultural Revolution as a member of the Red Guard 1968-70 and then escaped to Hong Kong by swimming. Making his way to Toronto he studied at the Ontario College of Art and became a citizen in the late 1970s. He continued studies in the UK, and Italy where he was drawn to the dynamic Uccello's Battle of San Romano (c. 1456). Lui is represented in multiple public, corporate and private collections in Canada, Europe and China: Musée d'art contemporain, Musée de Dijon, France, L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles, Pallazo Strozzi, Florence, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Sherbrooke, Grimsby Art Gallery, Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Stratford, Stratford, Coburg Art Gallery, Rodman Hall Art Centre, Canadiana Foundation (Art Collection of Governor General of Canada). He is part of a large number of private and corporate collections, including HSBC of Canada, DKNY and Sun Life Insurance. CATALOGUE AVAILABLE.

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