Mid-Career Survey of Work by Willie Cole on View at Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University
Anxious Objects: Willie Cole's Favorite Brands
October 3, 2007 – January 6, 2008
Stanford, California — The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents the exhibition “Anxious Objects: Willie Cole's Favorite Brands,” October 3, 2007 – January 6, 2008.
Cole’s art explores identity, race, consumerism, the environment, and other contemporary concerns. Bicycles, irons, hair dryers, and high-heeled shoes are among the urban artifacts he transforms into powerful, iconic "Africanized works."
“The term ‘anxious objects’ comes from critic Harold Rosenberg’s contention that contemporary artists create hybrid objects with strong and unsettling cultural implications and energy,” explained Hilarie Faberman, the Center’s Robert M. and Ruth L. Halperin Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “Cole’s signature works — scorched paintings, prints made with irons, and mixed-media assemblages with cross-cultural and metaphorical references — are certainly provocative and unsettling. They are also fun and funky,
with an underlying spiritual content referencing African and Asian belief systems.
“Anxious Objects: Willie Cole's Favorite Brands” is a nationally touring exhibition organized by the Montclair Art Museum, New Jersey. For its Stanford viewing, the original exhibition of 32 artworks is augmented by two of Cole’s pieces from the Cantor Arts Center collection. An illustrated catalogue, available in the Center Bookshop, accompanies the exhibition.
The exhibition is supported by generous grants from the State of New Jersey, Department of Treasury; Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Altria Group, Inc.; Ruth and William True; Merrill Lynch; The Cowles Charitable Trust; by a Projects Serving Artists grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; by funds from the Judith Targan Endowment Fund for Museum Publications; and by the following Exhibition Angels: Anonymous, Patricia Bell, Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker, Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron, Pat and Mort David, Patti and Jimmy Elliott, Bobbie and Bob Constable, Gregg Seibert, Lois and David Stith, Paula A. Tuffin and Reginald J. Hollinger, Denise and Ira Wagner, Carol and Harlan Waksal, Margo and Frank Walter, and Joan and Donald Zief.
The exhibition’s presentation at Stanford is made possible by generous support from The Cowles Charitable Trust and the Cantor Arts Center's Contemporary Collectors Circle.