Press Release: Yun Gee at Montross Gallery • December 1940

The first one man exhibition in New York of paintings by the internationally known Chinese artist, Yun Gee, opens at the Montross Gallery, 785 Fifth Avenue, New York City, on December 9th, 1940.

Yun Gee is widely recognized in his native China, the United States and Europe.  Born in Canton in 1906 he began art studies under the famous Chinese master, Chu, and in 1921 came to the United States to study at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

While still in his teens Yun Gee organized the influential Modern Gallery in San Francisco where he held his first one man exhibition.  Nearly all of the 72 pictures shown were sold.

Later Mr. Gee organized the Chinese Modern Art Club and School with the idea and aim of combining the best of the oriental and occidental cultures and philosophies.  In 1927 Yun Gee went to Paris on the invitation of Princess Achille Murat, director of the famous Gallery Ferme de La Nuit, and was unusually well received by the Parisian public and critics.  During his first exhibition in this city Mr. Gee was invited by Marshall Petain to show at the l’Ecole de Politique Militaire.

Returning to America in 1930 Yun Gee held several one man exhibitions, and in a mural show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York  he received extremely favorable comment on his work “Wheel: Industrial New York.”  At this time he also executed a modern version of “The Last Supper” which was installed at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in the Bronx.

Again returning to Paris in 1936 Yun Gee held exhibitions under the sponsorship of Ambroise Vollard and Andre Salmon in addition to Princess Murat.  At this time paintings were not only bought by the European aristocracy but by the Chinese scholars and merchants in Singapore and Hong Kong.  A portrait of Pierre Mille was acquired by the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris in 1938.

It was during this period that he originated the school of “diamondism” which endeavors to express in paint an embodiment of eastern and western cultures, both of which he understands so well.  His accomplishments in this direction have been endorsed not only by leading Parisian critics but by Chinese scholars as well.

Although a citizen of the United States, Yun Gee is none the less interested in Chinese affairs, and he has recently executed a mural “The Spirit of Chinese Resistance” which was presented to the Chinese Youth Association in New York under sponsorship of Chang Kai Shek.

The exhibition at the Montross Gallery will be composed mostly of recent canvases, some of which the artist has been working on from four to six years and include such titles as “Three Graces,” “Confucius,” “Lake at Versailles,” “Central Park Lake” and “Lao Tze.”

D. Rhodes Johnson