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William T. Wiley (American, b.1937)
LOT ID: 79452
Putting the Squeeze On, 2000

Graphite, Watercolor, Ink, on Paper
29.75 х 22 in. (75.56 x 55.88 cm.)
Signed, in pencil, lower right.
Lot description
Framed: 38 x 30 inches

This watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper titled ‘Putting the Squeeze On’ by William T. Wiley exemplifies his iconic style of combining text, symbols, and colorful imagery to describe the exploitation of natural resources. Speaking to man’s manipulation of the Earth for his own aims, a giant mangled log is depicted having been hacked, nailed, painted, and in the process of being split apart with a sledgehammer and wedge. A chunk of text appears beneath, acting like a stream of consciousness from the artist to describe a slurry of thoughts, opinions, and arguments towards various themes such as human apathy, psychological complexes, nuclear war and the destruction of nature.

Known for his highly imaginative art which ranges from traditional paintings and prints to constructions of assorted materials including pin-ball machines and tapestries, contemporary American artist William T. Wiley employs a diverse personal vocabulary to create works which speaks to issues of hypocrisy, politics, war, and art. Infusing his works with a sense of wit and absurd humor, Wiley uses an unique system of symbolism to layer complex meaning into his compositions. Wiley received his BFA and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and has received numerous awards over the course of his career including a Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2004) and the Purchase Prize from the Whitney Museum of American Art (1968). He has exhibited extensively throughout the world with shows held at the M.H. de Young Museum (San Francisco, CA), the Corcoran Gallery (Washington, DC), Fukui City Art Museum (Fukui, Japan), and a retrospective held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC) in 2009/2010.

Select Public Collection:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC)
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA)
Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
Putting the Squeeze On by William T. Wiley
  • Putting the Squeeze On by William T. Wiley
  • Putting the Squeeze On by William T. Wiley
  • Putting the Squeeze On by William T. Wiley
  • Putting the Squeeze On by William T. Wiley
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