Anne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist and Chair of the Department of Fiber and Materials Studies at the Art Institute of Chicago.Her practice employs a wide range of materials including human hair, thread, wire, glass and textiles to create sculptures, drawings, video animations and installations that investigate themes of time, loss and private and social rituals.
We visited with Anne at her studio in Evanston in connection with the Chicago art fair and were introduced to a new body of work that extends her previous investigation of social rituals but adds a politcal undercurrent. Instead of utilzing thread and cloth, Wilson undertook a residency at the Pilchuck School of glass making in Seattle and studied with master glass blowers. This collaboration produced work of stunning beauty. Glass threads wrapped around a bobbin-shaped core, shades of color - pinks like coral, yellow, peach - but mostly white gossamer, so delicate. These will be placed in an underlit tableau.
Her conceptual framework for this work lies in the recognition that virtually nothing we wear, no textiles, are produced in the United States today and the working conditions in the places where textiles are produced are questionable, at best. Anne Wilson creates these pieces of great beauty that lull us into asking what they are actually about and then give us a great deal to think about.