Jian Wang

If Jian Wang is to claim a style, it lies in his approach to painting. Distinguished by his ability to reconfigure the elements of a composition to his own vision, he virtually sculpts the image using energetic brush strokes and thick, buttery oil paint. "My style involves tremendous physicality and emotion," he says. "I have a simple palette of eight colors, which I combine right on the canvas. I'm careful with my gestures; I carry many colors in a single brush stroke." His work, influenced significantly by realism with an impressionist inference, is influenced both by the landscape and by contemporary artists such as Fred Dalkey, Wayne Thiebaud and Oliver Jackson. "Every single painting is 90 percent experiment and 10 percent of what I've learned," he says. "I cannot guarantee that every painting will turn out, because I don't want to set up that much control. I have great admiration for historical painters who developed a style and yet, each piece remains individual." Long before he came to the United States to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts at California State University, Jian Wang dreamed of a life of painting. A child of the Cultural Revolution in China, he experienced limited opportunities for painting and exhibition, which led him to pursue the field of engineering. And yet, he did not lack background or training in art. Upon arrival in America, his work already exhibited a serious investment in the western conventions of drawing and painting. What he lacked, was the venue this country could provide.