Artist biography

English sculptor and draughtswoman. She trained at Ravensbourne College of Art (1967–70) and the Royal College of Art (1970–73), where she specialised in sculpture. An interest in perceptual and philosophical questions concerning the nature of art underlay the preoccupation with light, territories, boundaries and their embodiment in matter that was evident in such works as Without Casting Light on the Subject (1975; destr.), an installation comprising a chair, table, lights, sheets of slate and glass, and other objects. The arrangement of the work suggested a quasi-scientific investigation of the properties, status and relation of things. From 1978 she was occupied more with the purely material and physical. Untitled (1980; AC Eng), two brass bags placed in a roughly circular wall of zinc, was a pivotal work and mapped out elemental sculptural concerns that she later consolidated, especially an interest in the sensual and textural properties of materials and their location in space and light. Another recurrent feature of her work in this period was a preoccupation with dual forms, as in Nature: Blue and Gold (brass, ash, oil and pigment, 1984; London, Brit. Council). Here Wilding's discerning feel for material qualities combined with her use of traditional sculptural processes such as modelling, carving and casting to explore contrast and similarity and to develop a highly sensitive and unique visual language. Wilding has drawn regularly since 1988. Her Angry Drawings series (charcoal and oil crayon on paper, 410×590 mm, 1988) are unrestrained graphic scrawls across the paper surface.

Alison Wilding (exh. cat., London, Serpentine Gal., 1985) [incl. an informative essay by L. Cooke]
Alison Wilding: Sculptures, 1987–88 (exh. cat., London, Karsten Schubert, 1988–9)
Base: Alison Wilding, Sculptures 1982–93 (exh. cat., Newlyn, A.G., 1993)
Alison Wilding: New Works at Tate Gallery St Ives (exh. cat., St Ives, Tate, 1994)

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