This limited edition of 40 mixed media artworks created for galerie 103 is based on an original watercolor made by Wiley in the summer of 2009. The artist has used the blackboard motif at the heart of the print since 1971, when he was teaching at The University of California Davis. These pieces look like old-timey school slates and contain instructions, homilies and folk wisdom. As is often the case in Wiley slate pieces, the recurring figure of the hourglass, Buster Time, stands front and center here, reminding us that time flies. The hourglass image is hand-drawn on the archival pigment print on rag paper. The paint on the palette is hand-applied, making each piece a unique original.
Signature: Signed and dated in graphite (lower right) Wiley, 2009 (center)
About William T. Wiley
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.
American, b. 1937, Bedford, Indiana, based in California