1906 - 1963
Yun Gee, an artist and a poet, is born in Guangdong in 1906. He immigrated to California at the age of 15 and entered the California School of Fine Art to study painting with the famous watercolorist Otis Oldfield. Yun Gee's early San Francisco period also marked a time of study and experimentation. Drawing on training in the style of Synchromism, Gee analyzed and composed the human form and scenes with bright abstraction and contrasting colors. The effect is one of strong opposition: sober and distant yet lyrical, mechanical yet sentimental or even melancholy. Moreover, this simultaneously abstract and figurative style sometimes exhibited a strong hint of Expressionism. The emotional contrasts and alternation between hot and cold in his works are quite fitting for San Francisco.
He held his first solo exhibition at The Modern Gallery, San Francisco in 1926, and soon became well-known for his avant-garde style. Yun went to Paris the same year and was highly praised by art critics and collectors for his combination of Western painting with Chinese themes. Yun held several solo exhibitions whilst in Paris. In 1932 he was invited to attend a Fresco group exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. After the exhibition, Yun returned to Paris to participate in several art exhibitions in which Picasso also showed his art works. During World War II, Yun Gee returned to America and remained in New York until his death in 1963.
(Excerpted from Yun Gee and China, Chia Chi Jason Wang)