Ian Wilson / Discussions



Over his four-decade series of oral artworks, Ian Wilson has sought to foreground the ephemeral nature of art by following a rigorous practice based on the spoken word. The Pure Awareness of the Absolute / Discussions traces the thinking that led Wilson to explore pronouncements as form. Neither recorded nor transcribed, Wilson’s work exists only for the duration of the conversation. Reservations required.



Ian Wilson was born in 1940 in Durban, South Africa, and moved to New York in 1966, where he would spend the next two decades. A student at the Art Students League of New York, Wilson’s practice developed concordantly with the period’s emergent Minimalism. Since the first Discussion was held in Lawrence Weiner’s studio in 1968, Wilson’s Discussions have occurred at venues worldwide, including Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1970, 1975); California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles (1971); New York University (1971, 1977); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (1976–83, 1985, 1986, 2009); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (1981, 2005); Documenta VII, Kassel (1982); Kunsthalle Bern, Germany (1983); the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1986); Musée d’art moderne et contemporain de Genève (2000); Kunsthalle Basel (2000); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002); Galerie Jan Mot, Brussels (2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012); Frieze Art Fair, London (2005); and Museion Bolzano, Italy (2008). Beginning in September 2012, Wilson’s work will be featured in the Brooklyn Museum’s survey of Conceptual art, Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art. Wilson lives and works in New York.

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