Wiley, William T.

Over a period of fifty years, William T. Wiley has distinguished himself by creating an extensive body of work that challenges the precepts of mainstream art. Making art that is at once witty and serious, topical and discursive, Wiley’s practices range from traditional drawing, watercolor, acrylic painting, sculpture, printmaking and film, to performance, constructions of assorted materials, and more recently, printed pins and tapestries.

Influential painter, printmaker, sculptor, and educator, Wiley was born in Bedford, Indiana on October 21, 1937. He studied at the San Francisco Art Institute earning his B.F.A. degree in 1960 and his M.F.A. degree in 1962. Wiley has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, University of Nevada at Reno, Washington State College in Pullman, University of California at Berkeley, School of Visual Arts in New York, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and was Associate Professor at the University of California at Davis between 1962 and 1973. Wiley received the Australian Arts Council traveling grant in 1980, the Guggenheim Fellowship Award in 2004, a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 from the Southern Graphics International Conference, and Honorary Membership in the California Society of Printmakers in 2009. His work is represented in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Des Moines Art Center, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Oakland Museum of California Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Stedilijk van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, University of California Art Museum at Berkeley, University of Kansas Art Museum in Lawrence, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Wiley has been included in numerous exhibitions, both solo and group, and a retrospective of his prints was mounted in 2005 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This exhibition was co-organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and curator Eric Denker wrote, “There is an innate directness to Wiley’s work … he applies his inherent wit and creativity to basic materials to explore very humanistic themes. Wiley’s assured draftsmanship and quiet humor draw us into his world, where we pause to marvel at the metamorphosis of symbols and words and images.”