Born in Jiangsu province, Li keran studied oil painting in France during the 1930’s and then returned back to study traditional Chinese painting alongside great masters such as Qi Baishi and Huang Binhong. Li took up several educational posts in different art institutes including the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1945. He developed a style which brought many western elements of painting into Chinese traditional art. Li Keran was best known for his landscapes which displayed strong vivid colors such as deep reds and turquoise together with western concepts of perspectives and a strong sense of contrast. Li’s brushwork is aggressive and intentionally crude. His calligraphy accommodates his art beautifully, bringing the work into a comfortable balance. The new elements Li introduced into traditional Chinese art are landmarks in the reform of art in China during the first half of the 20th century.
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