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Park West Gallery remembers Le Ba Dang (1921-2015)

 In Art & Gallery News, Art News Links, Artists & Special Collections, In the News, Lebadang
Le Ba Dang

Le Ba Dang

Park West Gallery artist and noted Vietnamese-French painter Le Ba Dang passed away in Paris on March 8, 2015, at the age of 94.

Park West Gallery, which holds fine art auctions on cruise ships, live auctions in major metropolitan areas, and runs galleries in Detroit and Miami Lakes, Florida, helped expose Dang’s artwork to a wider audience. Park West Gallery founder and CEO Albert Scaglione knew Dang for more than three decades.

The revered artist leaves behind paintings, lithographic prints and abstracts with private collectors and galleries the world over.

Dang was born in 1921 in the province of Quang Tri, and moved to Paris in 1939 where he joined the army to fight against German fascism. He was captured and held in a Nazi prison, and after his release, studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tolouse for six years. His first solo show was in 1950.

Dang’s first marketing success was painting cats onto ceramic plates, which are sought-out items to this day. Following a show at the Cincinnati Art Museum in the 1960s, Dang wanted to create new and exciting art, and used oil paints to create large-scale abstract works. The artwork contained vivid blues and puddles of orange and red, and proved popular with tourists and collectors alike, further cementing him as serious artist.

Dang’s innovations included the use of foam board, cutting out intricate designs with a knife and placing the foam between pieces of glass to form patterns and effects as light shines through them. Dang also worked in printmaking, terra cotta and a variety of other media.

lebadang

Each work speaks to the relationship of nature and man. His works also hint at his memories of growing up in Vietnam, with outlines of boats and bridges, as well as his experiences with the army.

Dang’s “signature” acted as a logo, closely resembling the calligrapher’s red square seal of a Chinese Song dynasty’s hand scroll. Their size, shape, and color are virtually identical.

Dang used his success to rebuild his devastated village in Vietnam, and was honored by his home country with a Le Ba Dang foundation and museum.

The artist split his time between Viet Nam and Paris, claiming that one day he would retire. His his creativity continued to flourish even in his 90s.

His accomplishments include an award from the International Institute of St. Louis in 1989 and a medal of recognition of artistic and cultural contributions by the French government in 1994.

He even has his own award, the Le Ba Dang Award, which is given bi-annually to someone who has demonstrated extraordinary volunteer service. The award was established by the International Institute of St. Louis to honor those who show “peace within you, your country, and the world.”

“Art, in all its forms, whether literature, philosophy, or the visual arts, expresses an attempt to understand the riddle of life and helps lessen the fear of death,” Dang once wrote.

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Showing 19 comments
  • Wayne
    Reply

    I first encountered Le Ba Dang’s work in a gallery in Houston 30 years ago. My wife gave me one of his prints as a gift and it hangs on the wall of our home now. A very talented man.

  • Craig
    Reply

    What a wonderful and creative man. Several years ago my wife and I had the pleasure of visiting Le Ba Dang and his bride at their apartment in Paris and having dinner. I created a photo album of over 30 pieces of art owned by us and showed it to him. His eyes lit up as he saw many of his older art. He took the album and did an original 2 page drawing on it. What a special treasure. We will miss his warm smile and his special hand cut Christmas cards. He will be missed.

  • Claudia
    Reply

    I first saw Le Ba Dang’s artwork when I received a Park West Gallery catalog in the 1970’s or ’80’s. I purchased four pieces because their beauty was breathtaking. They and more recent purchases hang on my walls today.

  • Caren
    Reply

    Our Le Ba Dang comes from his earlier series of horses. As I read this, I look up and see it’s beauty… in the place we most view in our house. It’s gentle, rich colors and peaceful movement soothes our daily lives. Seeing his beautiful picture makes me treasure it even more…and wish I had gotten to visit with him face to face. May his memory be a blessing…

  • Steve
    Reply

    I have a lovely original watercolor (untitled) of the artist bought 15 years ago and wondered what it would be worth now. It is roughly 22″x30″ on museum quality 100% rag paper

  • Joseph David Lucci
    Reply

    I am so sad to come upon info inre the passing of Lebadang only by chance. I own two older sculpted pieces (carved marble platter and a granite piece inlaid with copper and mother-of-pearl). I truly love his art. I met him twice at ParkWest throughout the late 80’s and the 90’s and found heand his lovely wife to be charming and delightful. I conversed by mail with him for several years and he would always reply with some handmade card (esp. at Christmas) or drawing. I would have loved to have visited him in France and seen “La Space”. I will miss him.

  • Nancianne Parrella
    Reply

    I have Fleur Blanc 74/100 print purchased in the 1960’s which I love. Is there a possibility of
    finding out approximately the value of this for insurance purposes?

  • Marte McKenna
    Reply

    I would appreciate any info you might have regarding a 14k gold & mother of pearl pendant called “Comedie Humane.” It was purchased in 1989. Thank you.

  • Alma Harris
    Reply

    I have collected Lebadang prints for years. My husband sent him a message some years ago when we were visiting Paris. He was gracious enough to invite us to his studio. I had photos of my collection and he was quite impressed when I told him I had saved money to buy his prints. I will always remember his kindness.

  • Sylvia Coe
    Reply

    I directed an art gallery in Charlotte N.C. owned by the family of Charles Kuralt.I bought a Labadang etching in the very early seventies.I still love it.I enjoyed selling his work.

  • Marcy Fowler
    Reply

    It saddened me to learn of Levadang’s death. My husband and I first encountered his work at the Circle Gallery in San Francisco in the late seventies. We purchased his livre deluxe of “Ten Horse Suite”. It was a purchase we have never regretted and I treasure them still today.

  • Linda Bartock
    Reply

    I have a Print Signed by lebadang hanging in my house and would like to Know more About it.its named The Red horses.I live in germany.Could you possibly give me Informations ?
    Linda

  • Caridad Puckett
    Reply

    I have two art pieces from Lebadang: Le chaval and Unique flower, which were appraised at your gallery a while ago. I would like to sell them.
    Would you give me some information to do so?

    Miss Puckett

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