‘C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction’ to Open at Hunter College Art Galleries in February




C.C. Want, Detail with no title (Abstract with Blue and Green), 1998, Ink, and color on paper, overall: 33 3/4 x 15 5/8 in (85.7 x 39.7 cm), Collection of Pao Yung Chao. Photo: Stan Narten

Hunter College Art Galleries will open its doors to the exhibition C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction on February 2nd in the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery.

Born to a family of scholar-officials at the twilight of the Qing dynasty, C. C. Wang 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.

C.C. Wang, Still Life, 1956, Casein on canvas, 26 x 40 inches. Private Collection, New York, Image: © the Estate of C.C. Wang. Photo: Stan Narten

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 (1907–2003) 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.

C. C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction was developed through a two-semester curatorial seminar at Hunter College led by Professor Wen-shing Chou with M.A. Art History students Thais Bignardi-Engstrom, Carolyn Bishop, Rawls Bolton, Jeremy Gloster, Sophie Kaufman, Emerald Lucas, Lindsey Poremba, Jennie Tang, and Mia Ye.

C. C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction is made possible by the generous support of the James Howell Foundation, the Leubsdorf Fund, the Wolf Kahn Foundation and Emily Mason and Alice Trumbull Mason Foundation on behalf of artists Emily Mason and Wolf Kahn, and the Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust.

C.C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction will be on view from February 2 through April 29, 2023 at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, 132 East 68th Street, NYC. An Opening Reception will be held on February 2 from 7-9pm.

Gallery hours are Tuesday ~ Saturday from Noon to 5pm.

In related programming, Save the Date for the Art Students League Lunchtime Lecture entitled C.C. Wang’s Art of Kinesthetic Knowing. Coinciding with Hunter College’s exhibition, C. C. Wang: Lines of Abstraction (February 2-April 29), the show and the talk re-center the extraordinary career of 20th century Chinese artist C. C. Wang. Professor of art history and co-curator of Lines of Abstraction, Dr. Wen-Shing Chou, will discuss Wang’s work and legacy, and cover the artist’s time as a League student.

Thus Lunchtime Lecture will take place onFebruary 9th from Noon to 1:00pm at Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street, 2nd Floor.  This is a Free Event with RSVP. Reserve a Spot Here.