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Fred Wilson

American  •  b. 1954

Biography

For over three decades, conceptual artist Fred Wilson has drawn our attention to objects and cultural symbols as he brilliantly deconstructs social and historical narratives regarding art, culture and race. Wilson is perhaps best known for his 1992 landmark exhibition Mining the Museum, in which he created provocative tableaux by selecting and arranging objects from the collection of the Maryland Historical Society to confront politics of erasure and exclusion. In tandem with his project of creating site-specific installations as a form of institutional critique, Wilson also uses pre-existing objects as a springboard for new work to explore the role of creating and shaping meaning.

Insights

  • Selected honors: Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2003), MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" (1999)

“Objects have various lives and these lives are formed by the context that they’re in. Where they’re moved to can change their meaning… My goal is to tease out other ways of looking at and viewing the objects, and see what that elicits.”

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