C. C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction
February 2, 2023 – April 29, 2023
Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College
Opening Reception: February 2, 7–9 pm
Born to a family of scholar-officials at the twilight of the Qing dynasty, C. C. Wang (Wang Chi-ch’ien 王己千, 1907–2003) mastered the traditional ink and brush techniques in Republican Shanghai and immigrated to New York City in 1949. There he sought to preserve the tradition of classical Chinese painting through engagement with new ideas, materials, and forms. Drawing inspiration from past masters in the history of Chinese painting, as well as New York’s artistic climate in the wake of World War II, Wang advanced breakthrough transformations in ink painting.
C. C. Wang is best known as a preeminent twentieth-century connoisseur and collector of pre-modern Chinese art, a reputation that often overshadows his own art. Held twenty years after the artist’s death, C. C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction recenters Wang’s extraordinary career on his own artistic practice to reveal an original quest for tradition and innovation in the global twentieth century. Spanning seven decades, the exhibition focuses on the artist’s distinctive synthesis of Chinese ink painting and American postwar abstraction.
In concert with the exhibition, the Hunter College Art Galleries are producing a comprehensive catalogue published in collaboration with the Weisman Museum of Art at the University of Minnesota and Hirmer Publishers. This book is the first retrospective monograph on the renowned artist, collector, and connoisseur C. C. Wang and features texts by scholars Wen-shing Chou, Daniel M. Greenberg, Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, and Arnold Chang with additional contributions by Hunter College Graduate Art History candidates and an undergraduate student from the University of Minnesota. Support for this publication is provided by the Wolf Kahn Foundation and Emily Mason and Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation on behalf of artists Emily Mason and Wolf Kahn.
Curated by Wen-shing Chou and Daniel M. Greenberg with Hans Hofmann Graduate Curatorial Fellow Margaret Liu Clinton.