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William T. Wiley to be Artist Guest of Honor at The San Francisco Fine Art Fair

Ten Percent

William T. Wiley to be Artist Guest of Honor at The San Francisco Fine Art Fair

May 17–20, 2012, at Fort Mason Center

“A Conversation with William T Wiley” hosted by Art Critic Dewitt Cheng Followed by Reception on Saturday, May 19, 5pm to 7pm

8 May 2012 – San Francisco, CA: The San Francisco Fine Art Fair (( at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion, May 17–20, 2012, salutes William T. Wiley as the Artist Guest of Honor. The Fair presents a Public Installation Retrospective of selected works, titled “Anything Goes: The whit end wizdumb of William T. Wiley,” curated by DeWitt Cheng and presented courtesy of John Berggruen Gallery. An award ceremony and on-stage interview with Wiley and Cheng will take place in the Fair’s Theater on Saturday, May 19, from 5pm to 6pm. The talk will be followed by a reception for the artist in the VIP Lounge from 6pm to 7pm. These events are open to all attendees at the Fair. The San Francisco Fine Art Fair runs from Thursday, May 17, through Sunday, May 20, with preview receptions on Wednesday, May 16 to benefit Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The 2012 Fair also honors San Francisco arts patron Roselyne “Cissie” Swig with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

“It’s our pleasure to pay tribute to the long and inventive career of William T. Wiley as the Artist Guest of Honor,” said Rick Friedman, SF Fine Art Fair Director, “and to feature his works in the Fair’s Public Installation Retrospective.”

William T. Wiley’s works may be recognized for their visual puns and sly humor, yet guest curator DeWitt Cheng writes, “Despite their absurdist humor and visual inventiveness, they tackle big issues: the defoliation and pacification of Vietnam; apartheid, genocide, police abuse of power and political violence; offshore drilling and ocean desertification; fundamentalism and creationism; and the ‘old lie,’ glorifying and glamorizing war. … His mixture of art-history appropriations (Winslow Homer, Bosch, Breughel, Manet), cartoon surrogates (Mr. Unatural [sic] and Zenry) and comic patter create a cultural mashup that never settles into political correctness or hardens into esthetic amber, remaining unruly, alive, and undogmatic.”

A master of a broad range of media that includes drawing, painting, prints, tapestries, sculpture, film, performance, and pinball, William T. Wiley, now 75, first came to prominence in the Bay Area and nationally in 1960, while still a student at the California School of Fine Arts (now San Francisco Art Institute). That year, he was included in the “Young America Show” at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and received his first solo museum exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Identified with the Bay Area “Funk Art” movement, Wiley’s idiosyncratic works soon garnered national and international attention.

William T. Wiley’s works were included in nationally prominent exhibitions, such as the Whitney Annuals (1967, 1968), and 1983 Whitney Biennial; “An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture” at the Museum of Modern Art, NY (1984); many other prestigious venues; and internationally at Dokumenta V (1972); the Venice Biennial (1972, 1980); in Amsterdam, Berne, Cologne, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and throughout Japan. Solo museum exhibitions also included SFMOMA (1981); San Francisco’s de Young Museum (1996); The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2005), and others. In 2009-10, The Smithsonian American Art Museum presented “What’s it All Mean?: William Wiley in Retrospect” (2009-10), which subsequently traveled to the Berkeley Art Museum. Reviewing the retrospective for the Wall Street Journal, Sidney Lawrence wrote of Wiley’s “skillfully drawn, pun-loaded and casually enigmatic work, often subverting modernism’s language of geometric abstraction and assemblage with a glut of personal meaning.”

William T. Wiley’s works are in public collections across the U.S. and abroad that include the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum at Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Museum of Modern Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and locally in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Oakland Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Museum, Sacramento’s Crocker Art Gallery, and numerous other institutions. His works have long been represented in San Francisco by John Berggruen Gallery.

The San Francisco Fine Art Fair at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion (Marina Boulevard @ Buchanan Street) runs May 17 through May 20, 2012, with preview receptions on Wednesday, May 16, from 5:30pm-9:30pm benefiting Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Fair hours are Thursday, May 17–Saturday, May 19, 11am-7pm; Sunday, May 20, 11am-6pm. Individual tickets are $25 for one day; $40 for a four-day pass (May 17-20). Tickets for the Opening Preview Patron Party (We., May 16, 5:30pm-7pm) are $125, which includes a 4-day Pass. Tickets to the VIP Opening Reception (Wed., May 16, 7pm-9:30pm) are $75, which includes a 4-day Pass. Facebook: ; Twitter: