Albright College’s Freedman Gallery will present a solo-exhibition highlighting the work of “David J. Wilson: Ontological Inebriation.” Free and open to the public, the exhibit includes eight sculptures, and opens on Tuesday, Aug. 18, running through Sunday, Oct. 4.
Wilson will offer a virtual Zoom presentation on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 4 p.m., followed by a virtual Facebook Live reception from 5-6 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
Out of an investigation of the objects, architecture, and institution of the U.S. prison industry, Wilson recently has developed a series of hardwood sculptures that speak to issues of incarceration. Wilson employs processes of carving, laminating, steaming, bending, sanding, turning and polishing wood to impress time in a physical way onto a material, evoking the effects of labor and confinement on the body. Wilson’s work as a whole delves into the power dynamics of institutions of governance and oppression with a specific focus on how objects and architecture affect the human body and perception.
Wilson earned his M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2012 where he currently teaches sculpture. Two of Wilson’s sculptures were previously on view in the Freedman Gallery’s National Juried Exhibition on social justice in the fall of 2018 for which he won the “Best in Show” award.
“We are extremely pleased to be showcasing new work from this important artist,” said David Tanner, director for the Center for the Arts at Albright College. “Wilson’s investigation of how the architecture of U.S. prisons and the use of objects that restrict mobility in those institutions affect the human body and mind is an important and timely conversation occurring both in our nation and on the Albright College campus, particularly in the Center for the Arts’ programming over the last few years. As an activist who has visited prisoners and toured U.S. prisons, Wilson’s keen eye and skillful hands have created beautiful, and in some cases, delicate works that draw attention to the practices, and more importantly, the implements of confinement that have become hidden from general society in our prisons, but are significant objects of subjugation for those on whom these implements are regularly employed.”
A free, printed trifold that includes images of Wilson’s artwork, along with a critical essay by Jennifer-Navva Milliken, artistic director, Center for Art in Wood, Philadelphia is available in the gallery.