William T. Wiley: Newslate


William T. Wiley is among a handful of the most influential American artists to come out of the Bay Area. His first solo exhibition at Hosfelt Gallery will consist of very recent paintings on canvas and watercolors on paper, contextualized with work from the past decade, as a means of exploring the evolution of his lexicon and style.


For more than 50 years, the poet-philosopher Wiley has combined language and image, non-hierarchically, to address the most important social, political and environmental issues of the times. His visual vocabulary of repeating motifs, combined with word play – running internal monologues, spiked with puns, double entendre and malapropism – is an open-ended investigation into the moral issues of the global citizen in the early 21st century.


Using a variety of media and working outside any stylistic movement or trend, Wiley has developed a distinctive style. But through continual exploration and re-invention, his work is ever evolving. It’s the constantly shifting, playful investigation of this contemporary thinker that this exhibition seeks to illuminate.


William T. Wiley was born in 1937 and moved to San Francisco in 1956 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute (then the California School of Fine Arts). He completed his MFA in 1962, then taught at UC Davis, where he, along with Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, Roy De Forest, and Manuel Neri, transformed what was known as an agricultural college into one of the most important art schools of the 1960s and 1970s. In 2009 the Smithsonian American Art Museum mounted a retrospective of Wiley’s work that traveled to the Berkeley Art Museum in 2010. In 2013 Wiley was the subject of a major solo exhibition at the Fondazione Marconi in Milan. During last year’s Venice Biennale, Wiley’s work was included in the Prada Foundation’s remake of the legendary exhibition, ‘When Attitude Becomes Form,’ originally curated by Harold Szeemann at the Bern Kunsthalle, Switzerland in 1969. Wiley’s paintings, works on paper, sculptures and films are in the permanent collections of prominent public and private collections worldwide.


Installation Views