Fred Wilson

30 Nov 2016


Fred Wilson. Photo by Kerry R. McFate, courtesy of Pace Wildenstein.

New York City-based conceptual artist Fred Wilson is known for repurposing objects and artifacts to lead people to see them in a different way. His installations typically create new contexts for displaying art and artifacts found in museum collections—including wall labels, sound, lighting, spatial arrangements, and non-traditional pairings. The changes in context create changes in meaning, highlighting the politics of erasure and exclusion. Wilson's creative process often involves community outreach and research in the cities where he produces his projects. He first became well-known in the early 1990s for his Mining the Museum at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, which transformed the collection to highlight the history of slavery in America. Wilson has created site-specific installations in collaboration with museums and cultural institutions throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In 2003, Wilson represented the United States at the 50th Venice Biennale with the solo exhibition Fred Wilson: Speak of Me as I Am. His many accolades include the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant (1999), among others. Wilson is a contributor to Letting Go? Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World, published by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in 2011.