William T. Wiley
This fascinating exhibition celebrates the career of acclaimed artist William T. Wiley. William Wiley 60 Works for 60 Years particularly investigates Wiley's prolific work as a printmaker, highlighting 60 of his prints produced throughout the last three decades. Wiley has generated prints in all media since the 1960s, including lithography, relief printing, intaglio, silk-screen, woodcut and etching. The featured work was executed at such well-known print studios as Landfall Press, Crown Point Press, Lawrence Lithography Workshop Teaberry Press, Shark's, Cirrus Editions, Tamarind Print Workshop, and the Experimental Bookshop. These pieces adroitly highlight differences in collaborative styles between an artist and a printer in a given studio, such as might be evident in the creative abandon Wiley experiences at the Landfall Press, operated by Jack Lemon in Chicago, or in the formal restrain: characterizing his work at Cirrus Editions.
Wiley engages multiple conceptual themes. Images of maps and travel bespeak efforts of finding direction during processes of personal or social transformation Wiley's frequent depictions of human figures on stages and in other public contexts may be read as cultural critiques, giving lie to our public egos and attachments to intellectual or social status, and baring Wiley's intolerance for fools and pretension. Wiley's love of language - especially manipulating it - manifests itself throughout his works. Forming new combinations and puns through wordplay and verbal mischief, Wiley allows us to see that how something is said may change the character and meaning of a thought, that what we think we believe may be very easily reconstructed.
William Wiley was born in 1937, brought up in Bedford, Ind., and moved west to attend the San Francisco Art Institute, where he earned both the B.F.A. and M.F.A. He was a highly influential art professor at the University of California at Davis from 1962-73. He currently lives and works in Marin County Calif. Wiley's work is represented in many public and private collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.