Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist
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Ironmaster/GE Male Figure

Ironmaster/GE Male Figure | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it


Willie Cole, Ironmaster/GE Male Figure, 1998, metal iron parts, cord, wood, and wool, 36 x 14 x 15 in

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

14 x 15” Sculpture metal iron parts, cord, wood, and wool.  Multiple iron assembled creating a robot figure with a mask in the place of a face.  The powerful figure may represent the god of iron and war, Ogun

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Pressed Iron Blossom No. 3

Pressed Iron Blossom No. 3 | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Pressed Iron Blossom No. 3, 2005, 5-color lithograph on white Somerset satin signed in pencil, mention "approval to print", 35 7/8  by  47 3/4  in.

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35 7/8 x 47 ¾” 5 color lithograph on white somerset satin signed in pencil, mention “approval to print” and dated 12/20/2005 on back.  This piece depicts an orange flower made of multiple iron prints arranged as petals in a circular fashion.

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Steaming Hot

Steaming Hot | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Steaming Hot, 1999, Steam iron and feathers, 25.5cm x 11.5 cm

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25 ½ x 11 ½ x 31 cm Steam iron and feather sculpture.  This is an edition of 25.  This sculpture was made of a real iron and feather coming out from the opening where the steam goes out.  The steam iron is Cole’s initial media with symbolic meaning of his African American heritage.

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Domestic Nude Descending

Domestic Nude Descending | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, “Domestic Nude Descending,” scorches on paper by Willie Cole, 2013

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

Scorches on paper.  Located in the Beta Pictoris Gallery in Alabama.  A sensual female figure is made of iron scorches, which means defiance from the Black women who were pressing the clothes of White owners during slavery.  The piece has cultural connotations turning oppression into a new meaning that the spirit lives on.

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Wind Mask East

Wind Mask East | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it


Wind Mask East, 1990, consists of blow dryers attached by artist Willie Cole - Appliance Art

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

This sculpture is constructed by blow dryers that belong to the Appliance Art Series.  This piece is about consumerism, urban life, identity, and race.  The blow dryers are assembled in a way to form an African mask in a triagonal shape with two dryers positioned to depict pronounced round eyes alongside the vertical dryer that looks like a nose.  Cole is influenced by his African heritage and the materials of contemporary urban consumerism. 

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Warrior Seeds

Warrior Seeds | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

2012
iron scorches and acrylic on wood
ca. 47 3/4 by 43  in

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

47 ¾ x 43” Iron scorches and acrylic on wood.  Multiple layers of scorching patterns onto wood.  The iron depicts the domestic chore of slave African women and the shape of the iron scorch looks like an African mask.  Cole called his practice “perpetual engineering.”  The scorching means the defiance of the slaves.  It is displayed at Beta Pictoris Gallery in Alabama.

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Sole Brother No. 1

Sole Brother No. 1 | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Sole Brother No 1, Sculpture made with shoes, 2008

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

Assemblage sculpture made from high heel shoes.  Male face mask transformed with found materials, black face with red lips and red and white eyes under heavy eyelids depicting an evil spirit.  As all color artworks, t his too has multiple symbolic meaning: political, spiritual, and social. 

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Stowage by Willie Cole - Asheville Art Museum

Stowage by Willie Cole - Asheville Art Museum | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

1997, Woodcut, 49.13 x 95 inches

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

49 1/2 x 95” Woodcut on Kozo-Shi paper.  An ironing board made to look like a ship that carried slaves.  A detailed drawing with plans of the ship Brookes shows how 482 people were packed onto the decks and distributed by the Abolitionist Society in England as part of their campaign against the slave trade in 1789. Jean Borgatti, Willie Cole’s African Remix.

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Tji Wara Mother and Child #1

Tji Wara Mother and Child #1 | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Tji Wara Mother and Child #1, 2008, bicycle parts, 33 x 16 x 32 in

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

33 x 16 x 32” Sculpture made of bicycle parts, handle bars, two seats, and other bike parts assembled in a stable stationary way with tires or wheels.  Representing the discorded culture being renewed.


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Kanaga Field Iron

Kanaga Field Iron | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Kanaga Field Iron, 1995, Wood, 115cm x 198.1 cm x 95.5cm

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

115 x 198.1 x 95.5 cm Sculpture wood.  Collection of the Worcester Art Museum gift of Donald and Mary Melville.  The Kanaga Field Iron is the most important icon of Cole’s expression in art.  It symbolizes the domestic work of the African women but also the toruba god of iron and war, Ogun.

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Gas Snakes by Willie Cole

Gas Snakes by Willie Cole | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Gas Snake, 1992,

Mixed Media, gas pump nozzles, rubber hose, and rebar
65 х 24 х 27 in. (165.1 x 60.96 x 68.58 cm.)

 


Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

Sculpture made of gas pumps, nozzles, rubber hose, and rebar.  The sculpture belongs to Cole’s favorite Brands, which are called “Anxious Objects” that represent urban experiences.  The term anxious objects come from the critique Harold Rosenberg who said that contemporary artists create art with unsettling cultural energy.  Sheldon Museum of Art.

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Zebratown Mask 2

Zebratown Mask 2 | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it
Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

17 x 15 x 10 ½” Sculpture from leather shows, stainless steel wife, nylon thread, a nd screws.  The form is black and white abstract presenting in the inventory of Alexander and Bonin, New York. 

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Downtown Goddess

Downtown Goddess | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

2012
bronze
pictured: no. 2 ("warm black" patina) of a limited edition of 7
(each of the 7 in a different color/color combination)
ca. 36  by 9  by 9 in.
Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

36 x 9 x 9” Cast bronze warm black patina assembled with old shoes.  This gives the sculpture power from the former wearers with history and personality.  It is an upright sculpture hybrid animal and human.

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The Worrier

The Worrier | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, The Worrier, bronze, 3 feet high, 2011

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

21 ¾ x 8 ¾ x 10 ¾” Bronze with black paint.  The sculpture is constructed by different types of shoes depicting a figure sitting holing it’s head and resting it’s elbows on the knees.  The facial characteristics are showing a worried person.  This looks like a Shona sculpture with exaggerated features.

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Lizzy

Lizzy | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole, Lizzy, 2013, Sculpture: leather shoes, stainless steel, and screws

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

19 x 17 x 9” Shoes, wire, and screws.  This piece belongs to Willie Cole’s High Heel Fantasies. The sculpture is constructed to look like an animal/mask composed of high heel shoes.  The high heel shoes tell an evolving story about beauty, sex, and spirituality.  Cole keeps with the theme of sculptures made by found objects.

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Man Spirit Mask

Man Spirit Mask | Willie Cole: African-American Contemporary Artist | Scoop.it

Willie Cole - Man Spirit Mask, 1999, Triptych: photo etching; silkscreen; photo etching with woodcut, 39 1/8 x 79 1/2 in., Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York

Vicky Patrikakos Pizza's insight:

39 1/8 x 79 ½” Triptich: silkscreen with woodcut.  The artist used photo etching and poured lemon juice on the silkscreen to frail the edges.  The piece is symmetrical depicting Cole’s face on one panel, the spirit in the middle, and the mask on the other panel.  The multiple meanings of African mask, spirit, and scorching from the iron are present in this artwork.  The iron symbolizes the chores the slave African women had to do by pressing clothes.  The scorching means resistance and defiance to their owners. Owner: Alexander & Bonin, New York.

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