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"Robert Wilson is one of the rare artists who works across artistic media without being buoyed by one method of making. The process of creation transcends a single medium and instead finds outlet within the archetype of an opera, the architecture of a building, the stains in a watercolor drawing, the design of a chair, the choreography of a dance, the rhythm of a sonnet, or the multiple dynamics revealed in a Video Portrait.
While widely known for creating highly acclaimed theatrical pieces, Robert Wilson’s work is firmly rooted in the fine arts. His drawings, paintings and sculptures have been presented internationally in hundreds of solo and group showings. For Black and White Wilson will be presenting two video portraits and a selection of over 30 works on paper.
WORKS ON PAPER
Robert Wilson’s drawings are about time; the future, the present, the past.
Many of the drawings are about the time when a new or old theatrical production is being studied in advance of the production. They are the concrete or abstract visual representations that will inform what Wilson might or might not see as possible on the stage.The drawings can be specific to what Wilson envisions for that particular act, scene or interlude.
Another set of drawings might be made when the stage work is being physically created within the theater itself. These drawings might be about what Wilson sees or wants to see, or might not want to see on stage during rehearsals. They might be about what is happening that day, the next day, the previous day on the stage itself. The drawings tend to be a record of what the production is, was, or where it might be going.
Another set of drawings might be about the times when reflecting back on a production that has been. They are what Wilson remembers the work to be or wishes it was.
At all times Wilson’s drawings stand alone, independent from his theater. His drawings are works of art and his own theatrical associations are not necessary to speak of, can be a distraction, and as he says might get in the way of seeing clearly.
The video portraits act as a complete synthesis of all the media in the realm of Wilson’s art making – lighting, costume, make up, choreography, gesture, text, voice, set design, and narrative. The medium is HD video but the form blurs time-based cinematography with the frozen moment of still photography. As in the layering nature of Wilson’s creative process, the video portraits infuse references found in painting, sculpture, design, architecture, dance, theater, photography, television, film and contemporary culture. The final result on the HD monitor resembles a photograph, but on closer inspection reveals Wilson’s highly developed theatrical language."
Noah Khoshbin, Curator