Adam Daley Wilson: This Is Text Based Art

Opening: Friday, Apr 14, 2023 6 – 9 pm
Friday, Apr 14 – May 26, 2023

864 N. Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Reception: Artist Performance @ 7:30pm

Back at the gallery, Adam Daley Wilson’s show THIS IS TEXT BASED ART will open Friday, April 14th, the night of Art After Hours from 6:00 - 9:00pm! Daley Wilson will take over the gallery for a performance at 7:30pm, completing a large-scale oil painting from start to finish and unveiling his process of creation.

“Text-based art holds for me the chance to connect ideas and concepts that are usually separated by conventional boundaries in our prevailing methods of thinking. My paintings explore the ambiguities and possible interpretations of what is, and what could be.” — Adam Daley Wilson 

ENGAGE Projects is thrilled to announce THIS IS TEXT BASED ART, a solo show by Adam Daley Wilson. The gallery walls will be covered in towering large-format oil paintings that use semiotic concepts as a means of exploring ideas about the meaning of objective and subjective human theories, from evolution to psychiatry to social justice. In alignment with EXPO’s Art After Hours on April 14th from 6:00 - 9:00pm, join us at ENGAGE Projects for the opening and a performance by Daley Wilson at 7:30pm in which the artist will create a large-scale oil stick painting using his personal writing system from start to finish in the gallery. 

An artist, attorney, and mental health advocate, Daley Wilson makes work that is marked by unusual and unique connections between things and ideas impacting our human species and beyond. Ranging from precise oil-painted texts to scrawling oil stick text-abstractions, Daley Wilson experiments with a high-contrast aesthetic to examine gray areas of accountability, ethics, and morality. His works can be separated into two categories of text-based art: personal writing system works that, in addition to their narratives, explore the lines between abstraction and language, and formal works that take linear or geometric approaches to text-based art. In all of them, the artist attempts to “connect ideas and concepts that are usually separated by conventional boundaries in our prevailing methods of thinking.” 

Daley Wilson’s work is informed by, but not about, his diagnosis of bipolar 1. With it, he investigates questions of normalcy, abnormalcy, and our collective mental state in our global humanity, asking for example, what would
be the diagnosis of our species if we applied mental illness criteria to ourselves as a whole? His painting Species Anosodiaphoria (2023) does just that, exploring whether we are aware of our accountability, and, if so, whether we are willing to act consistent with our professed universal codes that manifest across religions and societies around the globe. 

Punctuating his show with two in-color pieces, It Appears We Are (2021) and All The Pretty Pictures Make Me Nothing Without You (2022) bring soft blues to the table with their waterscape photographs. The paintings are split down the middle where water meets sky, sewn together by the hand-painted font straddling the horizon. The ambiguous, all- caps statements speak of intimate relationships and universal truths, doing what Daley Wilson does best by making statements that are both expansive and pointed. 

A self-taught artist, Daley Wilson’s art can be found in private and corporate collections nationally and internationally, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Miami, among others. Daley Wilson has previously served on the Board of Trustees of IDSVA, a leading PhD program with international residencies in art theory and philosophy for visual artists and creative scholars. He currently serves on the Board of a non-profit that supports US teens working to end mental illness stigma. 

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Image: All The Pretty Pictures Make Me Nothing Without You, 2022, oil painted text on rephotograph of new media on canvas 40 x 72 in 101.6 x 182.9 cm