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. Lines of Abstraction brings attention to Wang’s artistic experimentations. Spanning seven decades, the catalog focuses on the artist’s distinctive synthesis of Chinese literati ink art 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 China and immigrated to New York City. There he sought to perfect the literati painting, a genre associated with Chinese artist-intellectuals that blends calligraphy, painting, and poetry. Drawing inspiration from this historic art form, as well as New York’s artistic climate in the wake of World War II, he advanced breakthrough transformations in ink painting. Held twenty years after the artist’s death, a 2023 exhibit of Wang’s art was hosted by two venues, one at Hunter College and the second at the University of Minnesota. This exhibition catalog includes one hundred color images and features contributions by Daniel Greenberg and Joseph Scheier-Dolberg.