November 20, 2017

Wu Hung to Receive College Art Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—Wu Hung, the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Chicago, will receive the College Art Associations Distinguished Scholar Award. Wu will be presented with the award and deliver a keynote lecture at CAA’s 2018 annual conference, which will be held in Los Angeles, February 21–24, 2018.

Wu began his academic career as a scholar of Chinese architecture before specializing in modern and contemporary Chinese art. Since the 1980s, Wu has organized many exhibitions of Chinese art and has written four books on the subject. He joined the University of Chicago in 1994; he is consulting curator of the university’s Smart Art Museum and the founder and director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at UChicago. He is a graduate of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts and Harvard University.

“Art history as a field was very compartmentalized by regions and nations, especially so-called Western art and non-Western art,” Wu said. “I feel like a lot of people have made efforts to open up art history. Art is opening up, but you have to deal with a lot of challenges like censorship, and you have to negotiate with the different traditions and local sentiments of different areas. And people in China still think of art as something ‘extra,’ but I feel it is essential to modern education.”

College Art Association executive director Hunter O’Hanian said, “Wu Hung is joining an impressive group of individuals. The committee looks for someone who has a depth of scholarly accomplishment, and if you look at the depth of his work, especially under difficult circumstances at the time, it’s amazing.” Previous CAA Distinguished Scholars include Linda Nochlin, Rosalind Krauss, Leo Steinberg, and most recently Kaja Silverman.

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