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Now on View

Leaf Goddesses, Faith Wilding, 1976. Watercolor spatterprint on paper. Photo credit: EK Waller
Moth Triptych, Faith Wilding, 1974. Watercolor, gouache, graphite on paper. Photo credit: EK Waller
Eurynome, Faith Wilding, 1978-79. Colored pencil, graphite, watercolor, gold leaf, mounted on canvas. Photo credit: EK Waller
Installation of leaves, Faith Wilding. Pasadena Armory, 2015. Photo credit: E.K. Waller
Virginia and Emma (Tears), Faith Wilding, 2010. Watercolor, ink, collage on paper. Photo credit: Clare Britt





Curated by Shannon R. Stratton 
Jan. 20 - Feb. 25, 2018

Friday, Feb. 16
5pm Artist Talk with Faith Wilding
6-8pm Reception
co-sponsored by The Center for the Arts in Society
RSVP on Facebook

More event information coming soon.

About the Exhibition

Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries the first retrospective exhibition of the influential feminist artist who played a key role in the formation of the Feminist Art Program at California State University in Fresno in 1970 and at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia in 1971.

Wilding was a major contributor to the historically significant month-long collaborative installation Womanhouse, sited in an abandoned mansion in Los Angeles in 1972, where she performed her highly celebrated work Waiting.

Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries includes a selection of works from Wilding’s studio practice spanning the past forty years, highlighting a range of works on paper – drawings, watercolors, collage and paintings – exhibited together here for the first time. Taking up key, allegorical imagery in Wilding’s work, the exhibition focuses on themes of “becoming,” both the transformative event itself, and the threshold to transfiguration. This state of in-between-ness is articulated through imagery of leaves, the chrysalis, hybrid beings, and liminal circumstances themselves, such as “waiting,” the subject of Wilding’s two prominent performances Waiting and Wait-With.

Wilding’s work manages to be both delicate and harsh in its exploration of the pivotal moment between private revelation and public manifestation. Viewed together in this exhibition, her work makes a powerful impression about psychological and physical transition and transformation. In the depiction of the chrysalis and the embryo, for example, gestation is suggested, while in imagery of tears, wounds, and “recombinant” bodies, emergence and materialization are pronounced. The sum of these parts provides a unique account of how themes of emergence were central to Wilding’s articulation of feminism, and her own reflections on a childhood growing up in an intentional Christian commune.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication featuring original writings by Irina Aristarkhova, Mario Ontiveros, and Faith Wilding.

Faith Wilding is Professor Emerita of performance art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a graduate faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a visiting scholar at the Pembroke Center, Brown University. Born in Paraguay, Wilding received her BA from the University of Iowa and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Wilding was a co-initiator of the Feminist Art Programs in Fresno and at CalArts, and she contributed Crocheted Environment and her Waiting performance piece to the historic Womanhouse exhibition. Her artwork have been featured in major feminist exhibitions including WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution; Sexual Politics; Division of Labor: Women’s Work in Contemporary Art; and re.act Feminism. Her writing has been featured in such books as The Power of Feminist Art, By Our Own Hands, The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, MEANING, and many more.

Wilding has exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid; Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow; MoMA PS1 and the Bronx Museum of Art in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art and Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; University of California Riverside Museum of Art; the Singapore Art Museum; and many others. Wilding co-founded and collaborates with subRosa, a cyberfeminist cell of cultural producers using bioart and tactical performance in the public sphere to explore and critique the intersections of information and biotechnologies in women’s bodies, lives, and work, and she is the co-editor of Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices! She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Creative Capital grant, and artist grants from National Endowment for the Arts.

Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries is a traveling exhibition curated by Shannon R. Stratton in collaboration with Faith Wilding. The exhibition originated at Threewalls in Chicago, Illinois in January 2014 with an archive, reading room and screenings curated by Abigail Satinsky. It has since been exhibited at: Rhodes College, Memphis, Tennessee (September 5 - October 4, 2014); Pasadena Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California (September 26,
2015-January 3, 2016) and University of Houston-Clear Lake Art Gallery, Houston, Texas (September 2 - December 8, 2016).