Fiche Personne
Plasticien/ne Peintre Ecrivain/ne

William Adjété Wilson

France, Togo

Français

Réalisateur, Plasticien, Illustrateur et écrivain franco-togolais. Informations fournies par l'artiste ou son représentant : William Wilson vit et travaille à Paris, il est né à Tours en 1952, d'une mère Orléanaise et d'un père Togolais. C'est à Orléans qu'il grandit. À l'âge de 18 ans, il entreprend, à Paris, des études de philosophie, d'ethnologie (1970-1975). C'est en découvrant le monde de l'art et des artistes qu'il "tombe en peinture" pour s'y consacrer en autodidacte. Après de nombreux voyages en Europe et en Afrique de l'Ouest (1970-1980) entrecoupés de divers travaux dans le journalisme et la musique ; il fait sa première exposition à Paris en 1976, C'est à partir de 1983 qu'il montre régulièrement son travail, en France, en Europe et en Afrique, puis aux Etats-Unis. En 1985, il entre à la Maison des Artistes. Il participe aux débuts du Génie de la Bastille, au conseil d'administration et en ouvrant son atelier au public. En 1986, il obtient le Prix Médicis'Villa Hors-les-Murs' et passe plus d'un an aux Etats-Unis. Il y expose régulièrement depuis lors. William Wilson travaille principalement le pastel tendre sur papier, mais il réalise également des sculptures-assemblages en bois, des peintures et quantité d'estampes (lithographies, linogravures, sérigraphies). William Wilson s'associe parfois à d'autres créateurs. Il a par exemple travaillé avec Dominique Bagouet aux décors et aux costumes d'une chorégraphie, et collaboré à des clips musicaux pour les "Rita Mitsouko" ou "Mory Kanté". Il fabrique des "livres d'artistes" en collaboration avec des écrivains ou s'associe à la mode, par exemple avec "Louis Vuitton" pour l'édition de foulards "carrés d'artiste". Illustrateur pour l'édition (Gallimard, Folio, Flammarion, etc.) et pour des journaux et magazines, comme le "New Yorker",'Du' à Zurich, "Télérama" ou "Libération" à Paris. Il crée des affiches culturelles (Fête de la Musique 98, festivals, etc.), des dessins et maquettes pour la publicité, le design, le textile, les arts de la table ou l'art mural (dans le cadre du 1%). En octobre 1993, une monographie "William Wilson de 83 à 93" a été publiée par le Comptoir Général d'Edition, Paris (78 p. couleur). En 1994, Isabelle Jarry et William Wilson obtiennent le Prix Léonard de Vinci du Ministère des Affaires étrangères pour un voyage de 3 mois dans le Sud-Ouest des Etats-Unis. Il en sortira un livre: Vingt-trois lettres d'Amérique (Fayard) et deux expositions, à Paris (1995) et San Francisco (1996). 1997, WW illustre, avec 22 tableaux, l'édition du cinquantième anniversaire de la "Déclaration universelle des droits de l'homme" Co-édition Mango- ONU. 1997, WW illustre en 143 dessins les "365 Contes des pourquoi et des comment" de Muriel Bloch Chez Gallimard Jeunesse 1998 Résidence de 3 mois à la Villa Kujoyama, Kyoto Japon 2000 Séjour de 8 semaines à l'Ile Maurice 2001 Illustre le "Nelson Mandela" aux éditions Mango (22 planches) livres jeunesse: "Les proverbes du Panda" Texte et illustrations WW 2005 Ed Gallimard-Giboulée 2002 Réalise une sculpture "de jardin" pour l'exposition "Épouvantail" de JP COFFE. Itinérance à Paris, Versailles, Bordeaux, etc Illustration de "Le commandeur d'une pluie" Texte de P Chamoiseau. Gallimard Dessine et réalise un Jardin aquatique dans le Morvan (1000m2). 2003 Sélectionne et illustre "Les proverbes de l'éléphant" Gallimard. Expo Pastels à Tokyo Galerie Rocket 2004 29 mai-29 août "Résonances Africaines" Chapelle St Julien, Laval 2004 Parution de "Le sac à soucis", Texte Muriel Bloch Ed. Thierry Magnier et de "Les proverbes du crocodile" Gallimard 2004 Expo rétrospective au Siége de L'Oréal Floréal St Ouen 92 2004-En séjour en résidence à AIR il dessine et met en place un "Jardin de pierres" à Pondichery Inde (350m2). Au retour, il réalise un carnet de voyage avec sa fille, édité chez JALAN Publication: "Aglaé en Inde" Auteurs I. Jarry, Aglaé et William Wilson. Dessine et réalise un'Jardin de pierres' sur la rue Blomet, devant l'Ecole St Charles Paris 15. 2005 Avril "Les proverbes du Panda" Gallimard 2007 "Balthazar au Jardin" Gallimard.


2009. Il réalise à Abomey au Bénin une série de 18 tentures en appliqué de tissus qui fait l'objet d'un livre ( L'OCEAN NOIR (éditions Gallimard).


2009- Exposition personnelle : William Wilson l'Art souverain -Tentures et collages-Galerie Philippe LAWSON. 16 rue des Carmes 75005 Paris



2009-2014 . L’Océan Noir The Black océan, O Oceano negro est exposée. En France, Italie, Israël, Mali, Belgique, Suisse, Sénégal, Etats Unis, au Togo et au Bénin.Actuellement WW travaille le collage de tissus sur papier (voir rubrique travaux récents).Les expositions de la série L'Océan Noir se continuent; "Samangalé contes tissés et métissés"10 contes librement illustrés d'oeuvres de WW…2013 résidence d'artistes à IFITRY, Maroc. Exposition à Casablanca: Avril 2013

Résidence d'artistes à SACATAR, Bahia, Brésil. Août 2013            O Oceano negro. Casa do Benin, Salvador do Bahia.

2014- Exposition personnelle : Vodouns & Orixas-collages tissu Wax-Galerie Philippe LAWSON. 16 rue des Carmes 75005 Paris.

23avril-17 mai.


English

Wild, witty, and whimsical The title is not mine, but I wish it where, for it describes William Wilson's art perfectly. "Wild" illustrates the African part of William Wilson's work, coming from his Togolese ancestors. "Wit" is France's contribution, for William Wilson was born and educated in the Loire Valley. "Whimsy" is his own gift. It is what makes William Wilson's art so outstanding and so appealing. Whimsy gives elegance to Africa's extraordinary vitality, warmth to France's intellectual humour by using a fantasy that is ever changing yet always personal. At first glance, there might be nothing in common between pastel drawings, book illustrations, acrylic paintings, and "reconverted" chairs. However, it is immediately evident on looking at these different forms of art, that they are all the work of one artist. What are the main points in the formation of William Wilson's art ? The question should be asked for it is evident that such a original artist could not have the usual artistic training. In fact, he had little training at all and has often said that he became a artist in spite of himself. However, one may discern four major events in his artistic development. The first happened in 1972. When William Wilson left Orléans for Paris to study anthropology and philosophy, he discovered all the cultural opportunities of a big city. At the same time, he met a painter, Bernard Kagane, who although he had no influence on William Wilson's work stylistically, was important because he familiarized William Wilson with the idea that art was not something from outer space, but an everyday occurence. Soon after, he began making sketches but with no intention of being an artist as he was involved with many activities : fashion, journalism, music, etc. The sketches were almost psychoanalytic-related to his personal search for a synthesis of his bi-cultural heritage. The next major event took place in 1976 and was also a meeting, but in this case it was a meeting of minds. William Wilson discovered the art of Victor Brauner. One must remember that in the 70's in Paris, Brauner was rarely shown in museums or art galleries, having fallen into that purgatory which often imprisons an artist in the years following his death. What WAS being shown was Conceptual Art which emphasizes a more intellectual approach to art and suppresses color, form, feeling and may be art altogether. This artistic "school" could not possibly offer much to William Wilson. Brauner was another matter. Here was a 20th century artist who painted his own imaginary world just as the artists of the Middle Ages, Breughel or Bosch did. It was following this discovery that William Wilson began to draw large scale pastels. Pastels seemed a logical choice after pen and ink drawings as they introduced color and maintained a more spontaneous and direct contact with the paper's surface than would a brush dipped in paint. The choice of pastels showed that William Wilson was already an individualist in the art world, as the technique was rarely used in those days. However, William Wilson was still a little uncertain as to what the outcome would be. The outcome became evident in 1983 when a third important event took place in the form of a three-day exposition of his pastels in a studio lent to him by a friend. The public reaction was such that William Wilson felt that living as an artist was maybe possible. The possibility was helped in 1986 when William Wilson received the coveted price "Prix Médicis Villa Hors les Murs" which allowed him to stay for a year in New York in 1986-87. This is the fourth and last important event to date. Important in many ways. The price itself was a confirmation to the artist and the public at large of his undeniable talent. At the same time, being on your own in New York can be a humbling yet enriching experience. Humbling because the sheer size of the city is so colossal that one tends to feel a bit small. But New York can also be exhilarating. One feels that everything is possible. It was during his stay in New York that William Wilson produced his first easel acrylic paintings, his first book illustrations which took the form of a "Journal de Voyage" and just after his stay, the first work in three dimensions, which started his famous "hundred chairs" series. This series is based on the double heritage as is much of William Wilson's art. The use of waste, re-cycled and non-artistic materials is one of the major discoveries in 20th century Western art in general and sculpture in particular. But it is also an african attitude where ingenuity and fantasy transform waste materials into useful objects as well as artistic ones. Since 1988 while continuing to do paintings, book illustrations, prints, and chair-sculptures, William Wilson has ventured into many different worlds. The theater with set and costume designs for the "Compagnie Bagouet" of Montpellier; the opera "Histoire du Soldat" by Strawinsky and Ramuz; video-clips with Rita Mitsouko and Mory Kanté; publicity campagnes with Rodier Clothes and Arche Shoes. It is amusing to think that William Wilson, who says he feels more at home with medieval artists than those of the Renaissance, is really a Renaissance man-an artist who refuses to be imprisoned in one artistic discipline, who believes than a artist must be free, yet possessed by his own magical fantasies. To William Wilson being an artist means not necessarily being associated with an artistic "school" or group, not being classified by nationality or origin. It also means being free to say and prove that "anything" is NOT art, but on the contrary that art implies a certain rigor and perfection. Art as practised by William Wilson is a language immediately understood by all. Using a superb draftsmanship, great inventiveness, disarming humour, and a dash of mischief, he presents in a world of his own the common preoccupations of mankind-solitude, fear, uncertainty as well as wonder, hope and a sort of desperate joy in living. The idiom is highly personal, but the language and the sentiment expressed are universal. An authentic artist such as William Wilson is an individual, with the liberty to draw on and use all artistic traditions and forms. William Wilson's enormous talent is creating an art which with its wildness, it's wit and it's whimsey, has become a part of the artistic heritage of us all. Calla Denjoy
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