William T. Wiley

(Bedford, Indiana, 1937 - )

Worked Able


Mixed media on wood

32 1/2 x 48 x 2 in. (82.6 x 121.9 x 5.1 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of the Broido Family Collection


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Words—and word play—have been key elements in Wiley’s ambitious paintings, exquisite watercolors, idiosyncratic sculpture and innovative prints and drawings. Working on the West Coast, apart from the mainstream, Wiley rebelled against the seriousness of minimalist and abstract art as a young artist. Inspired by surrealist art and popular culture, among other sources, Wiley has incorporated visual and verbal puns into his compositions since the early 1970s. The artist’s fascination with scrap materials is evident in sculptures such as Worked Able. Many of the scribbled notes are ambiguous, as is typical for Wiley.

Text in art
Found objects