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Will Insley: ONECITY – Wall fragments, drawings + photographs of abstract buildings

Westwood Gallery
568 Broadway, Suite 501, 212-925-5700
April 14 - May 27, 2010
Reception: Thursday, April 29, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Westwood Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of artwork by New York artist, Will Insley (born 1929). ONECITY, envisioned by Insley is a 675 mile square architectural labyrinth of mythology buried in the central North American plains. It is designed as an imaginary city to house 400 million people of the time, considered the entire population of the United States. During the era of ONECITY the outer rim of the country is inhabitable, possibly due to environmental devastation.

Westwood Gallery will exhibit 33 works of art by Insley. The drawings on exhibit represent architectural renderings of abstract buildings which surround ONECITY as vacant ruins to be abandoned after they are built. Insley created over 40 drawings of abstract buildings, originally shown in his exhibition at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, NYC in 1984.

The concept of ONECITY was contemplated for over 40 years by Insley, establishing not only an architectural layout consisting of over 14,000 outer city square buildings, each two and half miles wide, but an entire sociological order for the citizens of ONECITY. No visible leader exists, but a democratic voting system occurs every day, whereby residents vote on various matters. Instead of a vertical religious order, the inhabitants worship the horizontal line as a mythical space between earth and sky. The center of ONECITY holds the Opaque Library, ”the seed and soul” which houses information and secrets, not accessible to the populace. Criminals are kept in an area known as the ‘Ninth Arena’ where they can eliminate one another and are the object of ‘Theatres of Death’.

Also on exhibit are ‘Wall Fragments’, acrylic paintings which represent remnants from the walls of ONECITY. “If there are wall fragments, there must be buildings; if buildings – a city, if a city – a civilization, if a civilization – a religion;—all the ingredients to form a mythological context” – Will Insley. Through his wall fragments, drawings and photomontage, Insley explores an abstract civilization, created line by line using logic, dimension and spatial theories in combination with interrelationship of people living in a futuristic environment.

Diane Waldman, Deputy Director, Guggenheim Museum, 1984: “By means of his geometric imagery he explores the potential of an architecture unlimited by the restrictions of reality; perhaps paradoxically, through the cool and rational appearance of his art he elaborates the myth of a dark and mysterious civilization outside of normal time”.

Will Insley was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1929. He lives and works in New York City. He graduated from Amherst College with B.A. in 1951 and from Harvard Graduate School of Design, M.A. Architecture in 1955. His work is in the collection of over 100 museums, including Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, NYC, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, Albright Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, as well Kunsthalle Basel and Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence, France. Insely’s artwork has been exhibited worldwide, including in Documenta and Venice Biennale. His artwork has been reviewed extensively in publications, such as ARTnews, Art in America, The New York Times and documented in the reference book, The New American Abstraction 1950-1970 by Claudine Humblet.
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