Experimental artist John Will, RCA, infuses his work with a distinct blend of political satire, biting wit, and sardonic commentary on pop culture. Dating back to the 1960s, his autobiographical art encompasses the big philosophical questions around death, mortality, politics, religion, and spiritual enlightenment. Will pokes at the absurdities of modern society—alternating between poignant and perverse—through printmaking, painting, performance, photography, and video. In 2012, Will set out to explore “nothing”, or as he put it: “Nada, zero, zilch.” Next to nothing, nothing to it, I Got Plenty o Nuttin’ (Porgy and Bess)…the resulting exploration is an iconoclast’s guide to the great unknown.
Will graduated with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa (1961), followed by an MFA from the University of Iowa (1963). He studied at the Rijsakademie in Amsterdam on a Fulbright Fellowship grant (1963-64), and at the Tamarind Institute as a Ford Foundation Printer Fellow (1969-71). Will taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (1965-70) and the University of Calgary (1971-97); he is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary and a board member of Stride Gallery. Will has received grants from Canada Council and Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and was elected as a member to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2009.
Will has exhibited in over one hundred shows in Canada and abroad. Selected solo exhibitions: Ego is My Ammo, Jarvis Hall Gallery (2014); Nothing But Trouble, Jarvis Hall Gallery (2012); untitled, curated by Catherine Ylitalo, Glenbow Museum (2010); untitled, White Columns Gallery, New York, Studio Voltaire, London, England, YYZ Gallery, Toronto, Portrait Estate Gallery, Calgary (2007). Selected group exhibitions: We Tell Ourselves Stories, Nickle Museum (2013); Director’s – Role, The Director’s Show, Stride Gallery (2011); Alberta Biennial, Art Gallery of Alberta (2010); Arena, The Art of Hockey, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (2008); ARTery, Prairie Art Gallery, Grande Prairie (2008); Graphic Visions, Art Gallery of Regina (2008). Will’s work appears in many collections such as: Art Institute of Chicago; New York Public Library; Le Musée International de L’Image; Art Gallery of Ontario; Canada Council Art Bank; Alberta Art Foundation.
John Will “GOING GOING GONE!”
22″ x 30″ Image Acrylic on Rives BFK
Live Auction Lot #27
Fair Market Value $2500