Pace Galleries

Fred Wilson

My Echo, My Shadow, and Me

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About Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson (b. 1954, Bronx, New York) challenges assumptions of history, culture, race, and conventions of display with his work. By reframing objects and cultural symbols, he alters traditional interpretations, encouraging viewers to reconsider social and historical narratives. Since his groundbreaking and historically significant exhibition Mining the Museum (1992) at the Maryland Historical Society, Wilson has been the subject of many solo exhibitions, including the retrospective Objects and Installations 1979-2000, which was organized by the Center for Art and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and traveled to Saratoga Springs, Berkeley, Houston, Andover, and Santa Monica, before closing at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Other solo presentations include So Much Trouble in the World—Believe It or Not! at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (2005); Works 2001–2011 at the Cleveland Museum of Art (2012); Local Color at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2013); Black to the Powers of Ten and Wildfire Test Pit at Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio (2016); and Fred Wilson at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, New York (2017). In 2003, Wilson represented the United States at the 50th Venice Biennale with the solo exhibition Speak of Me as I Am. His many accolades include the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “Genius” Grant (1999); the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (2006); the Alain Locke Award from The Friends of African and African American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts (2013); and a Lifetime Achievement Award, Howard University, Washington, D.C. (2017). He was honored by The Black Alumni of Pratt Institute during their 2017 Celebration of the Creative Spirit.

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Press Release

  • Fred Wilson: My Echo, My Shadow, and Me
    PaceWildenstein is pleased to announce that Fred Wilson will have his first solo exhibition, My Echo, My Shadow, and Me with the gallery at 32 East 57th Street, from March 11 through April 15, 2006. The public is invited to attend an opening on Friday, March 10th from 6-8 p.m. Beginning with the groundbreaking exhibition Mining the Museum (1992-93) at the Maryland Historical Society, Fred Wilson has juxtaposed and re-contextualized existing objects to create new installations, which alter their traditional meanings or interpretations. More recently, the artist’s mixed-media installations, including his exhibition at the United States Pavilion for the 2003 Venice Biennale, have consisted of objects he fabricated, such as Speak of Me as I Am (Chandelier Mori) (2003) which will be on view in the upcoming PaceWildenstein exhibition. Other works on view, primarily blown glass, date from 2003-2006. These include Mhole (2005), Psst! (2005), Viscous Risk (2005), and Dark Dawn (2005). Black Memory (2005), a wood and glass vitrine with 15 small oil cans and two large oil cans, 17 ink bottles and one glass bottle, and Black Present (2006) will also be on view. In his newest work in the current exhibition, Wilson has made his own version—consisting of black diamonds and black pearls—of the Diamond Diadem, the celebrated crown worn by Her Majesty the Queen of England. A succession of English Monarchs or their consorts have worn the original since 1821, when it was created for George IV’s coronation. Throughout its history, Britain’s Kings and Queens have worn it in their state portraits. Queen Elizabeth II wears it traditionally when traveling to and from the State opening of Parliament as well as in her 2001-2002 portrait by Lucien Freud. A catalogue with images and the transcript of a conversation between the artist and K. Anthony Appiah has been published for the exhibition. Mr. Appiah, an author and scholar, teaches philosophy at Princeton University. His publications include In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (1992), The Ethics of Identity (2004) and, most recently, Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (2006). Fred Wilson has created site-specific installations in collaboration with numerous museums and cultural institutions throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He received his B.F.A. from the State University of New York, Purchase in 1976. Since his first solo exhibition in 1988, Wilson’s work has been the subject of many individual shows and retrospectives including Fred Wilson: Black Like Me, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2005–2006), Fred Wilson: The Greeting Gallery, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1999) and the critically acclaimed Mining the Museum: An Installation by Fred Wilson, The Contemporary and Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore (1992-93). In 2001, the solo exhibition Fred Wilson, Objects and Installations 1979–2000 began its three year tour, traveling to eight different venues nationally, including the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, the Art Museum, University of Houston, the Santa Monica Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Chicago Cultural Center. Wilson’s work has also been featured in over 100 group exhibitions, including the 50th Venice Biennale (2003) as the American representative, the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Exhibition (1993), and the 4th International Cairo Biennale (1992). As the recipient of many honors and awards, Wilson received the 10th Larry Aldrich Foundation Award (2002), the MacArthur Foundation genius grant, Chicago (1999), the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts awards (1990), and the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Sculpture (1987 and 1991). Fred Wilson’s work can be found in several public collections including: the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Birmingham Museum of Art; Denver Art Museum; The Jewish Museum, NY; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; The Museum of Modern Art, NY; the New School, NY; Seattle Art Museum; and The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Fred Wilson currently lives and works in New York City. He joined PaceWildenstein in June 2004. For further information and images please contact Jennifer Benz Joy, Public Relations Associate, at 212.421.3292 or
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FRED WILSON: A Conversation with K. Anthony Appiah

K. Anthony Appiah and Fred Wilson

2006. PaceWildenstein. Paperback

42 pages: 25 color illustrations; 12 ¼ x 9 ¾ inches



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