William T. Wiley

William T. Wiley

William T. Wiley’s monotypes published at Aurobora explore the relationships between poignancy and pathos, hubris and humor, art and artifice—topics that have characterized his work for over thirty years.  With deft humor and wit, Wiley has populated his images with familiar figures that allude with incisive irony to the contemporary issues surrounding urban existence.  Magicians and monsters are seen to vie for power in a crazy, upside-down world of cages, labyrinths and towers.

Using a variety of matrices, including zinc, copper, vinyl, Plexiglas and wood, Wiley first painted the surface of the plate in broad sweeping colors.  After printing the plates, Wiley applied additional imagery into the work using woodcut rubbings or employing chine colle techniques.  The monotypes were then further embellished by hand, or run through the press several times again, in order to fill the space with the complexity which is characteristic of Wiley’s imagery.

During his residency at Aurobora in 2000, Wiley used current events and contemporary issues as a departure point for his works on paper ( the Elian Gonzalez drama, the stagnating peace talks in Ireland, Y2K and the other wacky logic that masquerades as modern-day rational thinking).  Continually directed by his inquisitiveness (e.g. how did the anvil get its shape?) and ongoing topical discussions (e.g. alchemy, the city-as-fortress, etc.) , Wiley extracted and assimilated disparate ideas into his compositions.

In addition, Wiley incorporated newly carved linocuts (a variety of 16th Century woodcuts became inspirational guideposts for these linocuts) into his watercolors and monotypes.  Some of these unique black and white linocut images stand alone or are hand colored by the artist.  Peppered throughout these compositions are those pointed references to literature, art, social commentaries, wry puns and provocative humor that is uniquely William T. Wiley.





March 1994
April 2000


Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Stedelijk van Abbemuseum at Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Fort Worth Art Center, Fort Worth, TX; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Baltimore Museum of Contemporary Art, Baltimore, MD; Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA; Indianapolis Center for Contemporary Art, Herron Gallery, Indianapolis, IN; Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO; La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, IN; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museums: de Young & Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA; Hawaii Contemporary Art Museum, Honolulu, H; di Rosa Preserve, Napa, CA