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1 February 2013 –

Ian Wilson

Ian Wilson (b. 1940, South Africa) is an artist whose work bears a powerful resemblance to the Kunstverein’s own mission: to explore the relationship between the viewed – or discussed – and the viewer, and the urgency involved in these interactions.

Wilson has been exploring spoken language as an art form since 1968. He has described his own work as ‘oral communication’ and later as ‘discussion’. At Wilson’s own request, his work is never filmed or otherwise recorded, thereby preserving the transient nature of the spoken word. Wilson’s earlier artistic explorations took place entirely in the monochrome. He was absorbed by questions relating to perception and painting. His last physical objects, ‘Circle on the Floor’ and ‘Circle on the Wall’, were created in early 1968. By making these works, Wilson realized that it was not necessary to produce an object to visualize a concept.

In the early 80’s Wilson produced works that didn’t imply his active, oral participation. These ‘statements’ are related to his discussions and refer to the general idea of discussions and take the form of a typed sentence on a sheet of paper and signed by the artist. The four works include the statements ‘There is a discussion’, ‘There was a discussion’, ‘A discussion’ and ‘Time (spoken)’.

To stress his importance to the program, the Grazer Kunstverein will devote a permanent solo exhibition to the artist’s work. The show will display different works throughout the years as well as a commissioned and acquired Discussion for the collection.