VŨ CAO ĐÀM (1908-2000)
Tête de jeune femme
Bronze with verdigris patina, signed on the back. Artist proof, stamped EA and with the foundry mark Valsuani on the base.
25 x 11.5 x 10 cm - 9 3/4 x 4 1/2 x 3 7/8 in.
Due to the creation of the Indochina School of Fine Arts under the impetus of Victor Tardieu, the status of artist is enhanced. This recognition also applied to sculpture, which went beyond its funerary or religious utility to join the field of Beauty. The practice of this discipline finds particular grace in the eyes of Vũ Cao Đàm who demonstrates a unique talent. His know-how ensures his participation in the 1931 Universal Exhibition in Vincennes. Although he graduated valedictorian of the second class thanks to his special skills, the sculptures he made are rare and confidential.
VŨ CAO ĐÀM
Born in 1908 in Hanoi, Vũ Cao Đàm came from a large, Catholic and well-off. He was immersed in French culture from his childhood. His father, Vu Dinh Thi (1864-1930), a great scholar, who not only mastered the French language but was also a proven Francophile. Indeed, sent to Paris by the Vietnamese government for the occasion of the 1889 World’s Fair, he was won over by the French lifestyle. It is therefore not surprising that Vu Cao Dam joined the Hanoi School of Fine Arts in 1926. There, he studied drawing, painting and sculpture under the authority of Victor Tardieu, founder of the School, and Joseph Inguimberty. He graduated in 1931 and obtained a scholarship that allowed him to continue his training in France. After presenting his sculptures at the 1931 International Colonial Exhibition, he decided to settle permanently in France. He then continued his artistic development by rubbing shoulders with all the greatest European masterpieces such as the works of Renoir, Van Gogh, Bonnard and Matisse but also the creations of Rodin, Despiau and Giacometti which particularly inspired him. He is also influenced by Western avant-gardes such as Fauvism and the Paris School, whose imprint can be seen in his work. In 1946, the artist already enjoys great recognition mainly for his sculptures, fine and graceful, for which he has many commissions. He exhibited them at the gallery l’Art Français in Paris but also at the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon des Tuileries and the Salon d’Automne of which he has been a member since 1943. Parallel to sculpture, he also paints on silk. In 1949, Vũ Cao Đàm decided to leave for the South of France and settled with his family at the villa Les Heures Claires near Saint-Paul-de-Vence, just next to the Matisse chapel and only one kilometer from Marc Chagall’s residence, La Colline. The light and the atmosphere of the South of France mark him and can be found in the works of this period. As early as the 1960s, the artist exhibited internationally, notably in London at the Frost & Reed gallery, but also in Brussels before signing an exclusive contract with the art dealer Wally Findlay in the United States. Today, Vũ Cao Đàm is considered as one of the greatest Vietnamese painters and sculptors of his time and his paintings are part of the permanent collections of many museums around the world such as the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.