Christopher Wilmarth
American, 1943-1987
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
Christopher Wilmarth,
Betty Cuningham
It's Magic!,
Betty Cuningham
An International Survey of Recent Painting and Scultpure,
Museum of Modern Art

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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