As an avowed eco-feminist, Faith Wilding’s work addresses the deterioration of the natural world in her lifetime, specifically in South America and her native Paraguay. She depicts symmetrical dualities: up and down, in and out, open and closed, evoking mystical, personal, and esoteric narratives. The works express interconnectedness and spiritual exuberance, while exploring visionary iconology of the energy and force of growth.
Wilding’s practice emerged at the forefront of Feminist Art in Los Angeles during the late 1960s and 1970s. For the last 50 years, Wilding has lived as an activist and artist, with a fierce commitment to eco feminism. Wilding was a co-initiator of the Feminist Art Programs alongside Miriam Shapiro and Judy Chicago. The Feminist Art Program produced Womanhouse, an art installation and performance space focusing on collaborative and feminist ideas. Fueled by the explosion of female-focused work and research, Womanhouse sought to move beyond the predominantly male-centric art history. Wilding’s work continues to interrogate societal narratives, challenging the status quo in art-making, life, and politics.
Faith Wilding (b. 1943, Paraguay) has exhibited extensively worldwide since the late 1960s. A 2014 retrospective of Wilding’s work, Fearful Symmetries, travelled to five venues across the United States. Wilding’s work was also included in the seminal survey WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, organized by Cornelia Butler, which traveled from the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) to the National Museum of Women (Washington DC), PS1 Contemporary Art Center (Long Island), and the Vancouver Art Gallery. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Womanhouse, an influential Los Angeles exhibition, installation, and performance space organized through the CalArts Feminist Art Program. At Womanhouse, Wilding’s Womb Room fiber installation and performance, Waiting, are some of the best known and highly influential works of the 1970s Feminist Art Movement. Wilding’s book “By Our Own Hands,” catalogues this important era experimentation and collaboration that defined west coast Feminist art during the early 1970s.
Wilding has exhibited at museums such as The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; Documenta X, Kassel, Germany; the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, MA; the Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; the Reina Sofa Museum, Madrid, Spain; Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland; and the Bronx Museum of Art, New York, NY. Wilding is Professor Emerita of Performance Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at institutions Cooper Union, New York University, the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Art Institute. While teaching at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1990s and 200s she was a co-founder of the cyberfeminist collective, subRosa. Wilding was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009 and has been the recipient of numerous grants for the past five decades. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award. Her publications include By Our Own Hands: The History of the Women Artists Movement in Southern California, 1970-76 (Double X, 1977) and Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices! (Autonomedia, 2003). Wilding lives and works in Rhode Island.