UntitledUSA, c. 1967
21 h x 8 w x 8½ d in (53 x 20 x 22 cm)
Signed to underside: [K.K. Hui].provenance: Acquired directly from the artist circa 1967 by Ardelle and Arthur Smilowitz
exhibited: Hui Ka-Kwong, 17 March - 14 May 1967, Museum of Contemporary Craft, New York
literature: The New York Times, 23 March 1967, pg. L30 illustrates this example Craft Horizons, May/June 1967, cover illustrates this example
Ka-Kwong Hui was at the height of his artistic career, when he met the Smilowitz family in 1967. Educated at the Shanghai School of Fine Arts and the Kwong Tung School of Art in Guangzhou, Hui immigrated to the United States in 1948. Following the completion of his MFA from the prestigious ceramics program at Alfred University, Hui came to New York, where his works drew the attention of a number of noted artists, including Roy Lichtenstein with whom he began collaborating with in 1964. Lichtenstein encouraged Hui to create a series of cups and mannequins and many note Hui’s influence on the artist’s later tableware designs. Works by Hui from the 1960s show a strict linear decorative scheme executed in a brilliant primary palette that sophisticatedly contradicts the rich organically-shaped sculptural forms. Hui believed “Art is elements. If you can make all these different elements work, that is art.” This remarkable collection of hand-thrown works by Hui was acquired directly from the artist by the Smilowitz family and represents a period in the artist’s career deeply influenced by his pop art contemporaries. Two of the works (Lots 116 and 121) were included in the artist’s solo exhibition in New York at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in the spring of 1967.