April 11, 2013 / 6:30 PM
A 1999 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant as well as the 2003 American
representative at the Venice Biennale, Fred Wilson is internationally known for his museum
installations, in which he re-installs and re-labels objects owned by a museum for the
purpose of creating new meanings and nonconventional narratives. Beyond bringing home
the point that the way we view and “read” objects is conditioned by context and juxtaposition,
Wilson’s site-specific installations subvert, criticize, or poke fun at the unspoken assumptions
that museums make about the social order, including such issues as class, gender, and ethnicity.
Wilson began using glass in his work during a residency at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle
in 2001. Three of his glass pieces are featured in Transparencies: The Beginning of the End,
2009; Drips and Drabs, 2009; and Iago’s Mirror, 2009. Using familiar and historic forms, his glass
works represent a continuing investigation into the symbolism and meaning of the color black, both
historically and in contemporary times.
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