C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction

November 17, 2023 – November 17, 2023
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
25 West 43rd Street, 10th Floor, Room 1000 between 5th & 6th Avenues, Manhattan

C.C. Wang (1907–2003) is best known as a preeminent twentieth-century connoisseur and collector of pre-modern Chinese art, a reputation that often overshadows his own art. C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction recenters Wang’s extraordinary career in his own artistic practice to reveal an original quest for tradition and innovation in the global twentieth century. Spanning seven decades, the catalog focuses on the artist’s distinctive synthesis of Chinese ink painting and American postwar abstraction.

Born to a family of scholar-officials at the twilight of the Qing dynasty, Wang mastered the traditional ink and brush techniques in Republican Shanghai and immigrated to New York City in 1949. There he sought to preserve 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.

Wen-shing Chou is Associate Professor of Art History at Hunter College/CUNY and the CUNY Graduate Center. She specializes in art of China and Inner Asia. Her book, Mount Wutai: Visions of a Sacred Buddhist Mountain (Princeton University Press, 2018), won Honorable Mention for the Joseph Levenson Prize (China Pre-1900) from the Association for Asian Studies. Chou is a member of the advisory council at the Rubin Museum of Art, where she also served as an advisory member of Project Himalayan Art and contributed to the newly published Himalayan Art in 108 Objects. Chou recently co-edited and co-curated C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction (Hirmer Verlag, 2023) on the artistic experimentations of twentieth century’s preeminent connoisseur and collector of Chinese art. Chou’s current book project, Shaping Time: Art of Rebirth in China and Inner Asia, explores the visual and material culture of reincarnation within the Gelukpa sphere of influence from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

Margaret Liu Clinton (she/they) is an Asian American curator and writer. They take a historical approach to interpreting and translating artistic responses to changing conditions of: technology, ecology, socioeconomics, geopolitics, and cultural histories. In addition to owning and running their own gallery, they were the director of Miguel Abreu Gallery and of Alexander Gray Associates.

Clinton was an original member of the arts activist organization and Ford Foundation grantee Stop DiscriminAsian, and currently serves on the board of Montez Press Radio. They have been awarded fellowships from the Hans Hoffmann Trust, the Berggruen Institute, the CUNY Graduate Center, and the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. They will soon complete an M.A. in art history at Hunter College/CUNY, and are a Critical Studies alum of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Independent Study Program. They hold B.A. and B.S. degrees from University of California, Davis.