A fantastic unique framed work on paper by the poet laureate of California funk - and subject of a major retrospective at the Smithsonian called "What's it All About" - among many other awards and exhibitions. Wiley had earned an incredibly loyal cult following. A terrific artist, and a punster with an ironic wit, and great sense of social commentary - who plays brilliantly with words and images. This unique work is framed and bears the original label from Marsha Mateyka gallery - one of the artist's longtime dealers. There are several tears in the work - top and bottom, which are intentional as he and the gallery agreed to frame and exhibit the work that way. Sold framed and as is.
Sheet: 23.5"h x 31"w
overall (with frame): 30.25"h x 36.75"w
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Signature: Signed in graphite with the artist's copyright, dated 94, and followed by a question, as the artist always does. Verso of frame bears Marsha Mateyka Gallery label.
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