William Wright: Visions Through Disbelief
29 March—16 April 2016
Rayner Hoff Project Space, National Art School
This exhibition brings focus to the life and work of William (Bill) Wright AM, the Australian curator, director, artist, writer and teacher, who throughout his life made significant contributions to the Australian and international art world.
Perhaps best known for the influential and adventurous 1982 Sydney Biennale Vision in Disbelief, of which he was Artistic Director, Wright was also deeply interested in phenomena of visual perception. He sustained a relatively private, studio-based painting practice that encompassed rigorous enquiry into theories of light and colour, composition, form and surface. His paintings have been described as ‘uncompromising, abstract, characteristically monochrome and moody’. Maintaining a degree of distance from his curatorial career allowed independence and allegiance to his truest intentions.
Wright enrolled at the National Art School at the age of sixteen and a half, and graduated in 1958. He taught in London and New York working with many influential artists and critics of the New York scene, from Philip Guston and Carl Andre to Clement Greenberg. He taught at the National Art School until 2014. He was Assistant Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Curatorial Director of Sherman Galleries and Director of the William Wright Artists’ Projects.
Presented in the exhibition is a selection of William Wright’s artworks alongside materials from his archive that together represent aspects of his extensive career. It demonstrates how creativity, vision, insight and inspiration are manifest in a range of forms — from artworks to writing, notebooks, exhibitions — and how one man’s intelligence, unique energy, commitment and creativity can resonate widely and with such inspiration for so many.
John Bloomfield 'Untitled_WW' (2010) digital print Ultrachrome pigment on Canson rag paper 67 x 55 cm, courtesy and © the artist.