Wang Dongling: Calligraphic Painting, 2001, Ink on paper, 40 1/8 x 40 1/8 in (102 x102 cm)

Wang Dongling 王冬齡 (b. 1945)

About the Artist

Wang Dongling is one of the most successful and talented contemporary calligraphers in China who has an international reputation. At 17, he studied calligraphy at the Department of Fine Arts at Nanjing Normal University. His studies were interrupted by the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s but Wang survived by writing large character political posters for public spaces. This job gave him the artistic freedom not normally allowed. After the Cultural Revolution, Wang attended the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou(now the China Academy of Art)  and received his MFA degree in 1981.

He developed a distinct style that combines traditional Chinese aesthetics with modernist art.  However, there are no decipherable Chinese characters and his works are closer to abstract art than calligraphy. Thus, he calls his mostly large scale work “calligraphic paintings.”

Wang’s style is marked by bold and forceful brushstrokes which reverse the ratio of figures to background space. Ours is an example of this where there is very little white space.

Wang’s works are in the collections of museums around the world including the Guggenheim New York, Los Angeles County Museum, British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the Palace Museum Taipei, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum; Harvard University Art Museums; the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University; Yale University Art Gallery and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.


Wang Dongling: Calligraphy No.2, 2000, Ink on paper, 40 1/2 x 40 1/2 in ( 103 x 103 cm)