Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Benefit Auction

Framed

Medium
Signature
Signed
Image rights
Courtesy of the artist

A self-described “contemporary artist, perceptual engineer, ecological mechanic, transformer,” Willie Cole has been altering perceptions of household objects since the 1990s. He ingeniously transforms steam irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, and high-heeled shoes into powerful sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Mining his own African-American heritage, Cole creates work that celebrates African art and culture and confronts viewers with the painful history of slavery in America. He has concocted African masks out of high heels, sculptures of African fauna out of kitchen chairs, and slave ships out of iron marks. Guided by these objects, Cole uncovers the ramifications of their use, as he explains: “The objects have a memory and history of their own. So if you have a slave, or just a domestic worker, people working for little money, their objects have a memory of that experience.”

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Coleccion SOLO
Selected exhibitions
2020
Still Human: a reflection on how we react to what’s newColeccion SOLO
2015
Surrealism: The Conjured LifeMCA Chicago
2012
Five Beauties Rising: New Prints by Willie ColeHighpoint Editions
View all

American Domestic, 2016

Digital Pigment and Serigraph
36 × 30 in
91.4 × 76.2 cm
Edition of 50
.
Bidding closed
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Benefit Auction

Framed

Medium
Signature
Signed
Image rights
Courtesy of the artist

A self-described “contemporary artist, perceptual engineer, ecological mechanic, transformer,” Willie Cole has been altering perceptions of household objects since the 1990s. He ingeniously transforms steam irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, and high-heeled shoes into powerful sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Mining his own African-American heritage, Cole creates work that celebrates African art and culture and confronts viewers with the painful history of slavery in America. He has concocted African masks out of high heels, sculptures of African fauna out of kitchen chairs, and slave ships out of iron marks. Guided by these objects, Cole uncovers the ramifications of their use, as he explains: “The objects have a memory and history of their own. So if you have a slave, or just a domestic worker, people working for little money, their objects have a memory of that experience.”

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Coleccion SOLO
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Willie Cole
Related works