With works such as “Hear in Silence,” artist William T. Wiley confronts controversial topics with a sense of the absurd. From abstract roots some 50-plus years ago, the Bay Area artist – “a national treasure,” wrote “The Wall Street Journal” – Wiley developed a highly personal style of layered text and imagery to comment on politics, culture and current affairs.
“Spanning media from music to painting and from poetry to watercolor, Wiley uses his great wit to express his controversial opinions,” Kate Eilertsen, director for Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, where the exhibition “Wall and Ardor: William T. Wiley in the 21st Century” runs through Sunday, July 27.
Guest curators Peter Selz and Sue Kubly have gathered recent works, and a replica of one Wiley’s studio walls complete with drawings and sketches. Wiley, said Selz, combines a personal sense of irony with commanding craftsmanship. “Painting for Wiley is intertwined with language. Word and image seduce the viewer to experience the unexpected.” The museum, located at 551 Broadway, is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, free to children K-12. 939.7862. Svma.org