William 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

October 2009 to January 2010, traveling to: Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA, March 17 to June 20, 2010. concurrent exhibition in D.C.: William T. Wiley: Recent Work, Marsha Mateyka Gallery, Washington, DC

2008 William T. Wiley: Fear Rules, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA William T. Wiley, Punball: Only One Earth, Electric Works, San Francisco, CA The Grabhorn Institute, Spring Benefit Dinner, Arion Press, San Francisco, CA

2007 Choosing Things Over Time, Marsha Mateyka Gallery, Washington, DC William T. Wiley, Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY* William T. Wiley, Charmin Billy, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, CA

2006 William T. Wiley: Barely Finished in Time, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA William T. Wiley:  Caught in the Rap Sure, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2005 William T. Wiley:  Marsha Mateyka Gallery, Washington, DC.  (Also 2003, 2001, 1997, 1995, 1991, 1989, 1988, 1986.) current Evince:  Selected Prints by William T. Wiley from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  Visiting Artist, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

2004 William T. Wiley, Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, ID.  (Also 2002) More Than Meats the I, William T. Wiley, Charles Cowles Gallery, New York, NY.

2002 William T. Wiley:  Before & After, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA.  (Also 1999, 1994, 1993)

2001 William T. Wiley:  No Bull, Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, MO.  (Also 1978)

2000 William T. Wiley:  Recent and Relevant, Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ., Santa Fe, NM.  (Also 1997, 1990) William T. Wiley:  The String Theory . . . is it . . . sound?  Yours as Ever, Marked Twine, L.A. Louver, Venice, CA.  (Also 1992, 1988, 1984)

1999 William T. Wiley, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA.*  (Also 1996, 1994, 1992)

1996 Concentrations 3:  William T. Wiley, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii. Nothing Lost From the Original, M.H. deYoung Museum, San Francisco, CA.*

1995 William T. Wiley, Walker Hill Museum, Seoul, Korea.*

1994 William T. Wiley, Recent Work, Max Protetch, New York, NY.  (Also 1991, 1988)

1993 William T. Wiley:  Indiana State University, Bloomington, IN.*

1991 William T. Wiley:  Struck!  Sure?  Sound/Unsound, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, traveling to Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA.* Robert Hudson: Sculpture, William T. Wiley: Painting, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.*

1991 The TOWER completed. Starting in 1985 Wiley teamed with Lippincott, Inc. in fabricating an extraordinary 75-foot bronze sculpture.  Its interior spiral staircase leads past figures informed by the myths and mysticism of the middle Ages to a star-shaped viewing area overlooking the Connecticut woods.

1989 William T. Wiley at Crown Point Press, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY.* New Paintings, Constructions and Watercolors, Struve Gallery, Chicago, IL.* Fuller Gross Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1987 What Is Not Music? Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, West Germany and Galerie Grita Insam, Vienna, Austria.*

1986 Recent Paintings and Watercolors, Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, NY, and Moore College Philadelphia, PA.; Fuller Goldeen Gallery, San Francisco, CA.* Steal Witness for the Time Being, touring to: Newport Harbor Art,Museum, Newport Beach, CA; Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Boise Art Gallery, Boise, ID; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA; Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA.*

1984 Hansen Fuller Gallery, San Francisco, CA (also 1983*, 1980, 1978, 1975, 1974, 1972*, 1971, 1969*, 1968).

1981 William T. Wiley, The Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr College of Art, Vancouver, B.C., Canada and Allan Frumkin Gallery, New York, NY.* Wiley Territory, curated by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, touring to: Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, TX; The Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ.*

1979 Allan Frumkin Gallery, Chicago, IL (also 1974, 1972*, 1969).

1978 Delahunty Gallery, Dallas, TX.

1977 Galerie Paul Facchetti, Paris, France.*

1976 Museum of Modern Art, Project Room, New York, NY. Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (also 1975, 1972).

1973 Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.*

1972 Gallerie Odyssia, Rome Italy.* Galerie Richard Froncke, Ghent, Belgium.

1971 Studio Marconi, Milan, Italy. University Art Museum, University of California Berkeley, CA, touring to Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL and Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.*

1967 Mills College, Oakland, CA.

1965 Lanyon Gallery, Palo Alto, CA.

1960 Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY (also 1962, 1964). San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA.


2011 Re-imagining Don Quixote or Don Quixote in New York, Arion Press, Edith Grossman, and William T. Wiley (exhibition and symposium), Queen Sofia Spanish Institute, 684 Park Ave., New York, NY. Missing Peace, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX. Under the Big Black Sun:  California Art 1974-1981, The Geffen Contemporary, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA.* “Locus Solus, Impressions of Raymond Roussel” – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.  Artists in Exhibition: M. Duchamp, S. Dali, F. Picabia, Rodney Graham, Roe Morton, G. Brecht, William T. Wiley, R. Roussoau, Max Ernst, and Guy deCointet.*

2010 William T. Wiley and H.C. Westermann, Watercolors and Sculpture, John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA. Image and Text, Donna Seeger Gallery, San Rafael, CA. They Knew What They Wanted, S. Ebner, R. Bechtle, K. Gannan and J. Kantor, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA. American Demonic, Davidson Contemporary, New York, NY.

Roland Reiss: Selections from the 1960s, Andi Campognone Projects, Pomona, CA. Legends of the Bay Area: Richard Shaw, Cornelia Schultz and William T. Wiley, Marin M.O.C.A., Novato, CA. Recent Acquisitions:  Richard L. Nelson Gallery & The Fine Arts Collection, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA. The Antidote:  Claire Oliver Gallery New York, NY. Groundswell Exhibition, Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA.

2009 Instruments, Solway/Jones Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Decline And Fall, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco, CA The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1880-1989, Guggenheim Museum’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY* Trouble in Paradise: Examining Discord Between Nature and Society, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ*

2008 Looking for Mushrooms, San Francisco and the Bay Area in the Sixties, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, November 8, 2008* Partisan, Art Chicago, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL Eye on the Sixties: Vision, Boby and Soul, American Art from the collection of Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson Collection, de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA* UC Davis @ Mondavi, woodcut with the Artist Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his family foundation, Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville, CA Art of Democracy: War and Empire, Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, CA The Missing Peace, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, (Dec. 1, 2007 – March 16, 2008), San Francisco, CA, Traveling Exhibition Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth, Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art at Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Balancing Perspectives: East Asian Influences in Contemporary Art, John F. Kennedy University Berkeley Campus, Berkeley, CA Feeling of Solidarity between Humanity and Environment, Art Chicago, Chicago, IL Facing West, Landfall Press, Santa Fe, NM

2007 Ways of Seeing: John Baldessari Explores the Collection, Smithsonian Museum, Lower-Level Gallery, Washington, DC. Pacific Light: California Watercolor Refracted 1907-2007, International Center for the Arts at San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA Tribute to Peter Selz, b. sakata garo, Sacramento, CA* Looking West, Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, MO Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT De-Natured: Beyond the Landscape, Tradition work from the Anderson Collection and the Anderson Graphic Art Collection, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA Urban Landscape, Crown Point Press, San Francisco, CA You See, the Early Years of the UC Davis Studio Art Faculty, Studio Theatre at the Mondavi Center, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, traveling to: Hearst Art Gallery; Saint Mary’s College, Moraga, CA, 2008; Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA, 2008; Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, 2009; Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA, 2009

2006 Twice Drawn, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY Missing Peace, Artists consider the Dalai Lama, Curator Randy Rosenberg, Committee of 100 for Tibet, traveling exhibition, 2006-2008 Why-Lee, Shot. C; Buzz, She Lest ‘em Vernon!  (V. Fisher, W.T. Wiley, X. Xie, B. Spector), Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL

2005 The Corcoran 2005 Print Portfolio:  Drawn to Representation, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Picturing the Banjo, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Penn. State Univ., Univ. Park, Penn., 2006

2004 100 Artists See Satan, Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana, CA* The True Artist Is An Amazing Luminous Fountain, from The di Rosa Preserve, Kreeger Museum, Washington, D.C.

2002-2004 Tamarind: 40 Years, a retrospective exhibition of 60 lithographs, traveling exhibit.


2000 Crossroads of American Sculpture, David Smith, George Rickey, John Chamberlain, Robert Indiana, William T. Wiley, Bruce Nauman, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA.*

1999 25th Anniversary of the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.* California Classics:  Highlights from the Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art,Tokyo, Japan; Fukui City Art Museum, Fukui, Japan; MOMA, Wakayama, Japan; Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Art, Tochigi, Japan.*

1998-99 Collaboration:  William Allan, Robert Hudson, and William T. Wiley, Palm Springs Desert Mus., Palm Springs, CA, travelling to The Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami, FL; Museum of Art, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ.*

1997 Form & Function of Drawing Today – 90’s, Messe Frankfurt, Frankurtam Main, Germany.

1995 Altered and Irrational:  Selections from the Permanent Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. From Matisse to Diebenkorn:  Works From the Permanent Collection of Painting and Sculpture, S.F.M.O.M.A., San Francisco, CA

1994 Here and Now:  Bay Area Masterworks from the di Rosa Collections, Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA.*

1991 Exhibition of Work by newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honor and Awards, American Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY* California Classics:  Art from the 1960s and 1970s, Bayly Art Museum of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA* Word as Image:  American Art 1960-1990, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX.*

1990 The Trans Parent Thread:  Asian Philosophy in Recent American Art, Hofstra Museum, Hofstra University, Hempstead, Long Island, NY, traveling exhibit.

1989 A Different War:  Vietnam in Art, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA, traveling exhibit. Art In Place:  Fifteen Years of Acquisitions, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.*

1988 Committed to Print, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

1987 20th Century Drawings from the Whitney Museum of American Art, touring to: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Achenbach Foundation, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA; Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Whitney Museum of American Art, Stamford, CT.*

1986 Philadelphia Collects: Art Since 1940, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA.* American Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (also 1962, 1961).

1985 Vom Zeichnen: Aspekte der Zeichnung, 1960-1985, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany. Cinquante ans de dessins americains: 1930-1980, Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France.* Content: A Contemporary Focus, 1974-84, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Smithsonian Institution), Washington, D.C.*

1984 An Intenational Survey of Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.*

1983 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. 1983 Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.* Minimalism to Expressionism, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. 20 American Artists, Sculpture 1982, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA.

1982 100 Years of California Sculpture, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA.*

1981 The Slant Step, Richard L. Nelson Gallery, University of California, Davis, CA.*

1980 Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.*

1979 The 1970’s: New American Painting, New Museum, New York, NY, and touring through Eastern Europe.

1977 Recent Art from San Francisco, Den Haag, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

1976 200 Years of American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.* Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

1973 Extraordinary Realities, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

1972 Documenta V, Kassel, West Germany. Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy.

1971 Corcoran Biennial, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

1970 Kompas IV Exhibition, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. American Painting, Foundation Maeght, Paris, France.

1969 When Attitudes Become Form, Kunsthalle, Berne, Switzerland.* Repair Show, Berkeley Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1968 Whitney Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

1967 Pittsburgh International, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA. Whitney Annual, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

1961 Winter Invitational, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA.

1960 Young America Show, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.