William T. Wiley

American, born 1937

568 followers
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William T. Wiley

American, born 1937

568
Followers
Biography

New York Times art critic Ken Johnson once said of William T. Wiley that “you might think he’d been invented by Thomas Pynchon.” Wiley was one of the founding fathers of West Coast Funk Art, alongside Robert Arneson, Roy Robert Hudson, and Roy DeForest. He rose to prominence in the 1970s with his offbeat representational style and narrative focus in painting, which was then in opposition to the widespread influence of Abstract Expressionism. Wiley’s works combined mystical iconography from Zen Buddhism, textual elements, regional aesthetics, humanist philosophy, and darkly funny commentary on politics, environmental issues, and global conflict. There is a recurring character in some of his works, a lanky figure with an awkward nose in a dunce cap and a bathrobe, named Mr. Unnatural. Wiley also creates drawings and assemblage sculpture.

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Career Highlights
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user
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

New York Times art critic Ken Johnson once said of William T. Wiley that “you might think he’d been invented by Thomas Pynchon.” Wiley was one of the founding fathers of West Coast Funk Art, alongside Robert Arneson, Roy Robert Hudson, and Roy DeForest. He rose to prominence in the 1970s with his offbeat representational style and narrative focus in painting, which was then in opposition to the widespread influence of Abstract Expressionism. Wiley’s works combined mystical iconography from Zen Buddhism, textual elements, regional aesthetics, humanist philosophy, and darkly funny commentary on politics, environmental issues, and global conflict. There is a recurring character in some of his works, a lanky figure with an awkward nose in a dunce cap and a bathrobe, named Mr. Unnatural. Wiley also creates drawings and assemblage sculpture.

Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
user
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring William T. Wiley