William T. Wiley, ‘LETTER TO THE PRESS, THAT BLAME TREATY AGAIN (DECORATION OF INDEPENDANTS AT CHRISTMAS), 1977’, 1978, Alpha 137 Gallery
William T. Wiley, ‘LETTER TO THE PRESS, THAT BLAME TREATY AGAIN (DECORATION OF INDEPENDANTS AT CHRISTMAS), 1977’, 1978, Alpha 137 Gallery

This text filled lithograph, printed in 1977 was used as an irreverent Christmas political manifesto (the anti-Christmas card, if you will, with its typical bland and mundane greetings) the artist sent out to friends, collectors and dealers at the end of the year - each with a hand signed personal message signed by Wiley (the poet laureate of California funk art) at the bottom. Underneath the printed text in the present lithograph, Wiley hand writes "Dorothy, Best Wishes for '78" - Wileys" This lithograph features text at the top "LETTER TO THE PRESS, THAT BLAME TREATY AGAIN OR SEEMS LIKE EVERYBODY'S GOT A STRONG CASE" with the subtitle "LIL DECORATION OF INDEPENDANTS AT CHRISTMAS FOR THE TIME BEING" (sic)- classic Wiley, the consummate clever punster, with an image that says "Detailed Study of "The Bright Side" from Winslow Homer Catalogue" along with the disclaimer, in parenthesis "Nothing's Lost from the Original", along with a letter from "Chief Sealth of the Duwanish Indian Tribe". (see images) At the bottom, the text reads "Hand Copied from a Xeroxed Letter Given to Me by Jill Claytor - Philadelphia Pennsylvania - December 7th 1977- signed Wm T Wiley.
Underneath the printed signature is Wiley's hand dedication.
In wooden frame with plexiglass measuring 30 inches by 23 inches.
Wiley, the Godfather of California funk, and a genius at word art, would go on to create many prints and works on paper with the theme of the "Blame Treaty" over the next decade.

Signature: Ink signed and inscribed "Dorothy Best wishes for 78 -Wileys" at the bottom recto (front).

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

Exhibition Highlights

2016
John Natsoulas Gallery, 
Davis,