Will Insley (1929-2011)
Foundations ONECITY 1960s Curated by James Cavello
Through November 5, 2011
Westwood Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of large-scale paintings from the 1960s by New York artist Will Insley. This exhibition is the first after the artist’s death in August 2011. Will Insley worked for 50 years, drawing and painting his concept of an abstract city entitled ONECITY. The paintings on view reflect the artist’s initial explorations that led to his monumental project, exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1984, under the title “Opaque Civilization”.
In the 2007 leading art publication, The New American Abstraction 1950-1970, Claudine Humblet writes the following on Will Insley’s early series of paintings: “The universe of fragments opened up between 1961 and 1963 with a multitude of cutout forms, flat shapes with four elements symmetrically arranged around a central opening […] The shaping of the external form was to serve the path taken by art as “object”. Insley’s personal concentration in isolating his “object” from its context (architectural and pictorial) was to lead him in gradually, during an enthralling investigation of the inner field of painting, to rediscover the hidden significance of the “fragment”. This became the sole tangible sign of the link between the “painting” (wall fragment) and architecture, the overall project of which was to be revealed only in the course of numerous stages inviting the viewer to decipher the secret meaning of the work presented.” In Insley’s own words, “Between ’61 and ’63 I did my first series of shaped paintings, using cloverleaf forms around a central hole. […] My painting quickly shed all its “painting” aspects save its diagrammatic nature and moved into the mind in search of the source of its fragments.”
Will Insley was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1929 and died in 2011 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 numerous museums in the United States and internationally, 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 (Switzerland), Fondation Maeght, (France). Insley’s artwork has been exhibited worldwide, including in dOCUMENTA (Kassel, Germany) and Venice Biennale (Italy). His artwork has been reviewed extensively in publications such as The New York Times, ARTnews, Art in America.
Westwood Gallery, NYC is the exclusive representative of the Estate of Will Insley.