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Viewing Room

Welcome to COL's online viewing room, an extension of the brick and mortar space that will feature a rotating selection of local and international artists, guest curators, interviews, and writings to help support artists of all stages.


 

BRUCE WILHELM: JABBER JAW

Bruce Wilhelm’s (b.1981) practice is deeply rooted in printmaking. Through a process of adding and subtracting layers of acrylic paint, he purposefully misuses tools to invite elements of chance into his compositions. Over months, if not years, these layers accumulate, imbuing Wilhelm’s paintings with a rich tapestry of textures and depths. An early encounter with the work of Martin Kippenberger led to a profound interrogation of his own identity, serving as a catalyst for engaging in artistic shape-shifting. Wilhelm has experimented with both figuration and abstraction, explored diverse formal strategies, incorporated various art historical references, and embraced his own history. His practice challenges the notion of coherence as he favors the complexities inherent in personal transformation.

 

In his words, “While thinking about what to make I realized my idea of a painting was this bridge that magically connects my past to my brilliant future seamlessly, a great narrative, like I’ve never misstepped. Once I started focusing on that, I realized how stupid of an idea that was and that this magic bridge of now is actually called ‘learning!’ So get off the stage and learn the things you need.” In recent years, Wilhelm has fully committed to abstraction—creating, destroying, and re-constructing color and form in an intuitively guided process that oscillates between spontaneity and meticulous craftsmanship.

 

Wilhelm earned his BFA in Painting and Printmaking at the Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004 and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. His work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions including at Mulherin Pollard in New York City and ADA Gallery in Richmond, VA.

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