He is best known as a painter, calligrapher, and collector of Chinese art.
As a collector, his collection of ancient Chinese paintings is consistently listed as one of the greatest collections in the world. During the 1980s, 37 paintings, including Dong Yuan’s “Riverbank”, from his collection were given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Wang did not identify himself as a collector, but rather as an artist whose collection was only for the purpose of study.
In painting, he is especially known for basing the brushwork of traditional literati. Examples of his own paintings are the last authentic examples of "literati art" from China. His understanding of Western art history and exceptional skill for traditional brushwork are revealed in his elegant, yet complex landscape paintings.
Wang Jiqian, also known as C.C. Wang (Chi-ch’ien Wang, 1907-2003) was born in Wu County, Jiangsu Province, China in 1907 was a Chinese American art expert who sold classical Chinese paintings and also created his own works, died July 3 in New York City. After studying authentic literati art and connoisseurship with old masters Gu Lingshi and Wu Hufan in Shanghai, he devoted himself to a life of art.
He studied painting, learned how to collect and sell art, and believed personal mastery of painting techniques was necessary for a complete knowledge of classical Chinese painting. After studying painting in Shanghai, Wang assisted organizers of a 1936 London exhibit of art from Beijing’s Palace Museum and became the first private citizen to examine all the paintings in the imperial collection.
After arriving in New York in 1949, Wang studied Western painting at the Arts Students League in New York and from then on paired his insights with his connoisseurship for Chinese paintings. His understanding of Western art history and exceptional skill for traditional brushwork are revealed in his elegant, yet complex landscape paintings.
C.C. Wang was celebrated throughout his lifetime as an artist, collector, critic and connoisseur. His paintings are prominently exhibited in major institutions in China and the US. His works are part of notable permanent collections including, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University's Fogg Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, Asian Art Museum San Francisco, Taipei National Museum of History, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and the Shanghai Art Museum.
1950 Warren E. Cox Gallery, New York
1968 M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, California
1972 China Institute in America, New York; Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii;
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
1973 Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts;
The New Gallery, Schacht Fine Arts Center, Russell Sage College, Troy, New York;
Chinese Culture Center, New York;
New Paltz State University, New Paltz, New York
1975 Columbia University, New York, New York
1976 Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois;
Chinese Culture Foundation, San Francisco, California
1977 The Landscapes of C. C. Wang: Mountains of the Mind, The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
1982 Hugh Moss Gallery, London, England 1983 Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan 1986 Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
1987 Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama
1988 Mind Landscapes: The Paintings of C. C. Wang, the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas;
the Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco, California; The China Institute in America, New York
1991 Shenyang Museum, Shenyang, Liaoining Province, China Solo exhibition, Hong Kong
First solo exhibition of calligraphy, Gallery 456, New York
1992 Solo exhibition of calligraphy, L. J. Wender Gallery, New York
1994 Solo exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan;
National Tsing Hua University Art Center, Hsin-chu, Tainwan
Solo exhibition, Pristine Harmony Art Center, Taipei, Taiwan
C. C. Wang: Landscapes and Calligraphic Images, Plum Blossoms Gallery, Hong Kong and Singapore
1995 The C.C. Wang Family Collection of Fantastic Rocks" E&J Frankel Ltd., New York, New York
C.C. Wang: old Master, New Ideas" at E&J Frankel Ltd., New York, New York
1996 "Living Master's Recent Painting by C.C. Wang", Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, California
1997 "C.C. Wang at Ninety", Kaikodo Gallery, New York, New York
1966 The New Chinese Landscape: Six Contemporary Chinese Artists, the Unite States under the auspices of the American Federation of Arts, New York
1971 Retrospective exhibition, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California Chinese Painting at Mid-Century, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
1981 Paintings and Calligraphy by Wu Hufan and His Students, Shanghai, China
1984 Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
1986 The Mountain Retreat: Landscape in Modern Chinese Painting, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado, and Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York
1989 Six Twentieth Century Chinese Artists, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
1994 Not Knowing: Affinities in Eastern and Western Art, Gallery Schlesinger, New York
1995 "Art of Ink in America" at Gallery Korea, New York, New York
Elizabeth Wang Gallery, New York, New York
1997 "Asian Traditions, Modern Expressions: Asian American Artists and Abstraction 1945-1970" at Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers, New Jersey
1998 "The Collection of Painting and Calligraphy by the American Artists C.C. Wang & Ma Singfoon", Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
1998 "C.C. Wang & Sing F. Ma Art Works", Grand Peking Gallery, Hong Kong "The Master & Pupil Exhibit of C.C. Wang & Ma Singfoon for Charity", City Hall, Hong Kong
"A Century in Crisis: Modernity and Tradition in the Art of Twentieth- Century china", Soho Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York
1999 "The Artist as Collector: Masterpieces of Chinese Painting from C.C. Wang Family Collection", Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York "Calligraphy and Beyond", Plum Blossoms Gallery, Hong Kong and Singapore
2000 "Madame Chiang Sung Meiling with Other Masters for the Year of 2000", World Journal Art Gallery, Whitestone, New York Ethan Cohen Fine Arts Gallery in New York, New York
"Big Apple Chinese", Kaikodo Gallery, New York, New York