Artist Spotlight: Wilmer Wilson IV

November 21, 2016

“My work is an ongoing treatise on marginality. I try to perceive materials, images, and bodily states that are designated marginal or “thin,” and fasten them together to make them accrue presence. I frequently aggregate thin things into film-like layers that then cover a target body.” – Wilmer Wilson IV

Wilmer Wilson IV is recognized internationally for his interdisciplinary investigations of the naturalized logics of cultural meaning. His work aggregates everyday objects into layers of skin or film, which then cover a body and augment its identification. He received his BFA from Howard University in 2012, and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. In 2012 he was commissioned to complete a suite of three public performances, collectively titled “Henry ‘Box’ Brown: FOREVER”, for the 5×5 Public Art Project in Washington, DC. Wilson completed a fellowship at the American Academy in Rome in 2014 and a residency at NLS Kingston in 2013. His work has recently been included in IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery(2015), Performing Portraiture at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2015), and State of the Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art (2014). His work is in public and private collections internationally. His works THE WESTERN UNION (2016), OMEGA FIRE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL (2016), and Left For Dead (2016) are currently on view in the gallery as part of Darkwater Revival: After Terry Adkins. 

About Terry, Wilson has said, “In the short time I was around Terry he imparted a sense of time that expands in the moment of making. This might seem like a paradox because the moment of making is also one of intense condensation. But he made it imperative to keep in sight both these concentrated jewels of thought and the airiness of time in tandem. Whenever my work feels to thin or too dense, I think of him.”