Anne Wilson (2017)

Anne Wilson

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

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

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


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.”

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.

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.

Art21 blog, by Caroline Picard, “Threading Infrastructure: An Interview with Anne Wilson,” May 31,

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).

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.

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

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