Anne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist who creates sculpture, drawings, performances and video animations that explore themes of time, loss, and private and social rituals. Her artwork embraces conceptual strategies and handwork using everyday materials — table linen, bed sheets, human hair, lace, thread, glass, and wire.
Wilson manages to balance a highly active studio and exhibition schedule with a busy teaching career. The Fiber & Material Studies Department at SAIC is held in the highest regard and Wilson’s contribution to the pedagogy there (1979- present) has been seminal in formulating the distinct balance this program promotes: expressing ideas, exploring metaphor and meaning through the medium of textiles. She is a model of an engaged artist /educator, addressing the medium of textiles (using stitching, sculpture, craft & art, performance, community engagement) and conceptual issues (gender identity, women’s work, labour, feminism), as well as the history of textiles and textile production.
Wilson’s art is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England, and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, among others. Her work has been exhibited in many exhibitions in the United States and abroad. The most recent exhibitions of her work include “Ruptures” at the Des Moines Art Center, “Thread Lines” at the KMAC Museum, Louisville, “Weaving Europe: The World as Meditation” at the Othellos-Attikon Cultural Centre, Pafos, Cyprus, and a solo exhibition. “Anne Wilson: a hand well trained,” at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.
Wilson was named a 2015 United States Artists Distinguished Fellow and is the recipient of awards from the Driehaus Foundation, Artadia, the Tiffany Foundation, NASAD (Citation Recipient), Cranbrook Academy of Art (Distinguished Alumni Award), the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council. She is represented by Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago and Paul Kotula Projects, Detroit. Wilson is a Professor in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
2017 Anne Wilson: a hand well trained, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
Ruptures, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
2016 Anne Wilson: Drawings and Objects, James Harris Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo)
A Global View: Recent Acquisitions of Textiles, 2012-2016, The Art Institute of Chicago, IL
2015 Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, Museum of Arts and
Design, New York, NY and traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Art_Textiles, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK
Toward Textiles: Material Fix, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI
2014 Thread Lines, The Drawing Center, New York, NY / performance commission
Fiber: Sculpture 1960-Present, originating at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston and traveling to the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Des Moines Art Center
2013 Anne Wilson: Dispersions, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou City, China
2012 Cotton: Global Threads, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England Artists: Yinka Shonibare MBE, Lubaina Himid, Anne Wilson, Abdoulaye Konaté, Aboubakar Fofana, Grace Ndiritu, Liz Rideal
2011 Anne Wilson: Rewinds, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
Anne Wilson: Local Industry, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (solo)
2010 Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave, Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN (solo)
Hand+Made: The Performative Impulse in Art and Craft, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX
2009 Anne Wilson: Portable City, Paul Kotula Projects, Detroit, MI (solo)
2008 Anne Wilson: Portable City, Notations, Wind-Up, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago (solo)
Anne Wilson: Errant Behaviors, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME (solo)
2007 Out of the Ordinary, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting, Museum of Arts & Design, New York
2006 Takeover, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (Anne Wilson/Shawn Decker collaboration)
2005 Alternative Paradise, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (commission)
Anne Wilson: Errant Behaviors, Indiana University School of Fine Arts Gallery, Bloomington, IL (solo)
2004 Perspectives 140: Anne Wilson, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (solo)
Anne Wilson: Errant Behaviors, Project space at Art Chicago (solo)
Anne Wilson, Drawings and Stills, Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago (solo)
2003 Anne Wilson: Unfoldings, University Art Gallery, San Diego State University, San Diego (solo)
Anne Wilson, Colonies and Links, Revolution Gallery, Detroit (solo)
2002 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Anne Wilson: Unfoldings, Bakalar Gallery, MassArt, Boston (solo)
2001 Anne Wilson: Edges, Revolution Gallery, Detroit (solo)
2000 Anne Wilson: Anatomy of Wear, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (solo)
1999 Textures of Memory: The Poetics of Cloth, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham, England (tour)
1998 Anne Wilson: Voices, Revolution Gallery, New York (solo)
Anne Wilson: Voices, Revolution Gallery, Detroit (solo)
Memorable Histories and Historic Memories, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine
1993 Anne Wilson: Body into Culture, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Madison, Wisconsin (solo)
1989 14th International Biennial of Tapestry, Musee Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Palais de Rumine, Lausanne, Switzerland
Gift, Bequest and Purchase – A Selection of Textile Acquisitions from 1982-1987, The Art Institute of Chicago
1988 Anne Wilson/Dann Nardi, Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph Gallery, Chicago
6th International Triennale of Tapestry, Central Museum of Textiles, Lodz, Poland
Class of 2017 Outstanding Faculty Member Award for Excellence in Teaching, School of the Art Institute of Chicago: Commencement 2017
Mitchell Enhancement Fund Award, School of the Art Institute of Chicago: 2016
United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellowship: 2015 http://www.unitedstatesartists.org/
Wilson/Livingstone Graduate Merit Scholarship, Department of Fiber and Material Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago: established 2014 by Gail Hodges, Chair FMS Council
National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) Citation in recognition of distinguished contributions to the visual arts: 2012 https://nasad.arts-accredit.org/directory-lists/citation-recipients/
Cranbrook Academy of Art, Distinguished Alumni Award: Commencement 2012
Union League Club of Chicago, Distinguished Artist Program award: 2012
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Artist Fund Grant: 2010
Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Individual Artist Award: 2008
Herb Alpert Foundation/Ucross Foundation, Alpert/Ucross Residency Prize: 2007
Museum of Glass, International Center for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, WA (residency): 2006
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY (residency): 2006
Pilchuk Glass School, Stanwood, WA (residency): 2005
Aurobora Press, San Francisco, CA (residency): 2001
Artadia, The Fund for Art and Dialogue, Individual Artist Grant: 2001
Illinois Arts Council, Artists Fellowship Awards: 2001, 99, 93, 87, 84, 83
American Craft Council, College of Fellows award: 2000
Australian National University, Canberra School of Art, Canberra, Australia (residency): 1996
University of Wollongong, Creative Arts, Wollongong, Australia (residency): 1996
Chicago Artists International Program Grant: 1996
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award: 1989
Chicago Artists Abroad Grants: 1989, 88
National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Fellowships: 1988, 82
Selected Public Collections
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum of Arts and Design, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago
Union League Club of Chicago
The M.H. De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco
The Detroit Institute of Arts
Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin
Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee
Museum of Glass, International Center for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, Washington
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York
Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
2016 Editors, NEWCITY, Sept 16-30, “Art 50 2016: Chicago’s Artists’ Artists.” http://art.newcity.com/2016/09/15/art-50-2016/
2014 Taft, Maggie. ARTFORUM, January, Vol. 52, No. 5., “Anne Wilson” at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, (review), p. 217
2012 Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art Oral History Program. Interview conducted July 6-7; interviewer: Mija Riedel. https://www.aaa.si.edu/interviews/oral-history-interview-anne-wilson-16058
2015 Vinebaum, Lisa. “Performing Globalization in the Textile Industry: Anne Wilson and Mandy Cano Villalobos,” The Handbook of Textile Culture (anthology). Janis Jefferies, Diana Wood Conroy, and Hazel Clark, eds., London: Bloomsbury Academic, Chapter 11, pp, 169-185.
2014 Porter, Jenelle. Fiber-Sculpture 1960-present. (exhibit catalog) Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; DelMonico Books.Prestel, pp. 52-53, 242-243, 252.
Stratton, Shannon. Surface Design Journal, Winter. “Anne Wilson: Labors Lost, Re-imagined,” pp. 12–15.
2011 Anne Wilson: Wind/Rewind/Weave (exhibition catalog; essays by Glenn Adamson, Philis Alvic, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Laura Y. Liu, and Jenni Sorkin; Chris Molinski, curator). Knoxville, TN, and Chicago: Knoxville Museum of Art and WhiteWalls, Inc., distributed by The University of Chicago Press. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo13314562.html
Art21 blog, by Caroline Picard, “Threading Infrastructure: An Interview with Anne Wilson,” May 31, http://blog.art21.org/2011/05/31/center-field-threading-infrastructure-an-interview-with-anne-wilson
2010 Koplos, Janet and Metcalf, Bruce (eds). Makers, Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, pp. 427-428.
2008 Waxman, Lori. ARTFORUM, Jan 31, (review). http://artforum.com/archive/id=19413
Snodgrass, Susan. Art in America, October, (review), pp. 196-197.
Episode 152: Anne Wilson (Bad at Sports podcast, interview with Duncan MacKenzie and Shannon Stratton), Chicago. http://badatsports.com/2008/episode-152-anne-wilson/
Ullrich, Polly. Sculpture Magazine, May, Vol. 27, No. 4, “Anne Wilson: New Labor” (feature essay), pp. 38-43.
2004 Cassel Oliver, Valerie. “Anne Wilson: Fragmented Territories,” Perspectives 140: Anne Wilson, (exhibition catalog), Houston, Texas: Contemporary Arts Museum Housto http://issuu.com/thecamh/docs/anne_wilson
2002 Rinder, Lawrence R. Whitney Biennial 2002, (exhibition catalog), New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, pp. 230-231.
Hixson, Kathryn. “The Topology of Anne Wilson’s Topologies;” Tung, Lisa. “Anne Wilson: Present Corpus;” Yapelli, Tina. “Over Time,” Anne Wilson: Unfoldings, (exhibition catalog). Boston: Mass Art.
2001 Gordon, Hattie. “Feast” and Porges, Tim. “Postminimal and After.” Foreword by Elizabeth A. T. Smith. Portfolio Collection: Anne Wilson, (monograph), Winchester, England: Telos Art Publishing.
Ferris, Alison. “Forbidden Touch: Anne Wilson’s Cloth,” Reinventing Textiles, Volume 2: Gender and Identity, Winchester, England: Telos Art Publishing, pp. 39-47.
2000 Yood, James. American Craft, December 2000-January 2001, (review), pp.78-79.
1999 Heartney, Eleanor. Art in America, March, (review), p. 114-115.
1998 Kirshner, Judith. Anne Wilson, Voices, (exhibition catalog), Detroit and New York: Revolution Gallery.
1997 Wainwright, Lisa. “Found Objects in Art: Anne Wilson’s taxonomy of memories,” Fiberarts, September-October, pp. 46-50.
1994 Palmer, Laurie. New Art Examiner, Summer, (review), p. 48.
Yood, James. ARTFORUM, May, (review), pp. 105-106.
1993 Hixson, Kathryn and Yapelli, Tina. Anne Wilson: Body into Culture, (exhibition catalog), Madison, Wisconsin: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
Taylor, Sue. Art in America, February, (review), p. 123.
1988 Spector, Buzz. “Anne Wilson: Urban Furs,” American Craft, February-March, pp. 32-39.
MFA (1976), California College of the Arts, Oakland, California
BFA (1972), Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Professor, Department of Fiber and Material Studies
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1979-81, Visiting Artist
1981-85, Assistant Professor
1985-92, Associate Professor and Tenure
1992-present, Full Professor
Teaching includes practice and theory in fiber and material studies undergraduate classes; graduate and undergraduate seminars; sculptural practices and interdisciplinary graduate critique seminars; graduate advising across school departments; and textile history through the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism.
Serves 1 – 3 year terms as Department Chair, upon rotation.
Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago