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Christopher Wilmarth

American, 1943–1987

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Christopher Wilmarth

American, 1943–1987

134
Followers
Biography

Initially inspired by the formal rigor of Minimalism and modern masters Henri Matisse and Constantin Brancusi, Christopher Wilmarth made exquisitely balanced sculptures from steel and etched glass. In a 1978 New York Times review, Hilton Kramer said Wilmarth was “unquestionably in possession of one of the most original sculptural styles to emerge in the 1970s.” Later, Wilmarth began to draw primary influence from the poems of the French Symbolist Stéphane Mallarmé, incorporating blown glass “heads” into his translations of Mallarmé’s work. Referring to the link between his poetic inspiration and artistic production in these works, Wilmarth wrote: “Breath is the first vehicle for a poem; blown glass is breath made physical.” He gained extensive critical acclaim in a career cut short by suicide in 1987.

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Career Highlights
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User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Initially inspired by the formal rigor of Minimalism and modern masters Henri Matisse and Constantin Brancusi, Christopher Wilmarth made exquisitely balanced sculptures from steel and etched glass. In a 1978 New York Times review, Hilton Kramer said Wilmarth was “unquestionably in possession of one of the most original sculptural styles to emerge in the 1970s.” Later, Wilmarth began to draw primary influence from the poems of the French Symbolist Stéphane Mallarmé, incorporating blown glass “heads” into his translations of Mallarmé’s work. Referring to the link between his poetic inspiration and artistic production in these works, Wilmarth wrote: “Breath is the first vehicle for a poem; blown glass is breath made physical.” He gained extensive critical acclaim in a career cut short by suicide in 1987.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial