For Art Basel Miami’s Survey Sector, Anat Ebgi presents artist Faith Wilding, focusing on specific works from 1969-1979.
The 1970s marked an explosion of work and research of a purely feminine nature which sought to move beyond male-centric painting and art history. As an early radical feminist, Wilding was a co-initiator of the Feminist Art Programs at Fresno State and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a founder of the Woman’s Building, a participant of the seminal “Womanhouse” exhibition, significantly contributing to the discourse of feminist art, especially in relation to Los Angeles.
Faith Wilding’s paintings and works on paper from this particular period often reference the botanical and metaphysical – floral buds, leaves chrysalises, insects and bodily metamorphoses. Moth Triptych (1974) is an example of the artist’s watercolor series depicting the physiognomy of a moth, abstracted into undulating and delicate geometric forms. Throughout the three compositions, forms shift and unfurl, a gesture echoed by various accompanying graphite drawings of falling leaves and opening buds. Often embellished with gold leaf, Wilding references early medieval herbals, bestiaries, and alchemical manuscripts. Alongside her organic studies, the booth also includes documentation of Wilding’s performance, “Waiting,” The repetitious poetry traces birth to adolescence, wife to motherhood to death— the woman protagonist always in waiting, in service to someone, something. By examining this presupposed passivity, and annunciation of the process, Wilding reclaims her body, motives and time. The “Waiting” performance is the inception of Wilding’s prolific studies on the biological processes of growing and becoming.
The Survey Sector presentation seeks to re-introduce Wilding’s incredibly diverse and prolific works made during this historic period.