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‘Arizona Biennial 2015’ Opens at Tucson Museum of Art

July 26th, 2015 | No Comments

arizona biennial 2015 opens at tucson museum of art
Now on view in Arizona Biennial 2015: Confluent, The Lake a Lilac Cube, and A New Way of Thinking About Everything by Grant Wiggins.


Arizona Biennial 2015 was unveiled at Tucson Museum of Art on Friday night, and I was absolutely delighted to experience the show in person at the opening night celebration.

You’ll be able to find the three paintings I’m showing at the very end of the exhibition — where the abstract works are located — on what I believe is the museum’s tallest wall. I fondly call this the “Great Wall.” It has an epic, almost monolithic quality, and for me holds a special meaning.

In 2007, I showed my painting ff0000turo in this exact same location. Having the opportunity to exhibit here eight years later, on the full breadth of the wall, I could not ask for more. I feel both a circularity and a sense of advancement — an awareness of how much my work, my thinking, and my life has changed.

arizona biennial 2015 opens at tucson museum of art
A return to Tucson Museum of Art’s “Great Wall”: From left, ff0000uturo in Arizona Biennial 2007 and the same wall today.


The curator of Arizona Biennial 2015 is Irene Hofmann, Phillips Director and Chief Curator of SITE Santa Fe. For this exhibition, 530 Arizona artists submitted nearly 1,500 works. Ms. Hofmann selected 50 works by 33 artists.

In her statement discussing her curation of the exhibition, Ms. Hofmann observes that while she “didn’t initially set out to develop a thematically structured show,” several “strains of exploration” emerged in her review of works submitted. The show is arranged according to those themes.

Works that reflect upon nature, and humankind’s impact upon it, open Arizona Biennial 2015. The theme of reclamation is later explored by works that give new life to discarded materials, as well as overlooked, everyday objects. Violence and control are then addressed in a variety of media.

At the conclusion of the exhibition — where my work hangs along with sublime paintings by Mike Stack and Angie Zielinski — “the Seduction of painting offers the last word,” Ms. Hofmann affirms. By exploring color, design, and imaginary worlds, she writes, these abstract pieces “insist on the enduring power of painting and offer us the reprieve of visual delight.”

arizona biennial 2015 opens at tucson museum of art
The sedution of painting: Abstract works by Grant Wiggins, Angie Zielinski (right), and Mike Stack conclude the show.


I am deeply honored to be showing in Arizona Biennial 2015. It is energizing and inspiring to be exhibiting among so many gifted, accomplished artists, who were united by masterful curatorial judgment. I offer my gratitude to Ms. Hofmann and the entirety of the Tucson Museum of Art’s staff, who have staged an exhibition that proudly represents the artistic currents flowing through our state.


Collaboration with Jil Sander on fall / winter 2015 men’s collection

January 30th, 2015 | No Comments

I recently had the profound pleasure of traveling to Milan as a guest of luxury fashion house Jil Sander, to view its Fall / Winter 2015 men’s collection — from a front-row seat.

Graphic motifs from several of my minimal paintings will have a presence in the sportswear and casual range of Jil Sander’s fall collection for men, which will be available in some of the world’s finest stores starting in September.

What’s more, invitations to the runway show featured a reimagined version of my minimal, 70s-inspired painting Blactan.

Blactan by Grant Wiggins with invitations to the runway presentation of Jil Sander's fall 2015 men's collection
Above: The study for my 2007 painting Blactan among invitations to the runway show for Jil Sander’s Fall / Winter 2015 men’s runway show, held January 17, 2015, as a part of Milan Men’s Fashion Week.


I was contacted by Jil Sander in December, out of the blue, to my great surprise. Quite simply, the brand’s design team had found my work online, and wished to license selections from my catalogue.

Naturally, I didn’t say no.

All the same, I have said “thank you” to the Internet a few times.

Nearly 6,000 miles (9400 km) separate my studio in Tempe, Arizona and Milan. Traveling between the two points takes nearly one full day.

But it’s particularly fascinating to me that, despite this distance, my work might resonate with, and possibly inspire, a highly accomplished designer and his team — one that’s virtually on the other side of the world from where I paint.

The world is even smaller than I once imagined.

I have long believed that my paintings could have a parallel life in fashion. Friends and family have asked me this repeatedly, “Why don’t you make clothes? Your paintings would look fantastic on shirts!” However, I never imagined that a global luxury brand like Jil Sander would get the process started before me.

Led by creative director Rodolfo Paglialunga, Jil Sander’s fall/winter 2015 runway collection for men was impeccably presented. I was immensely impressed by the overcoats, which balanced angularity and structure with luxuriousness and comfort. I can also appreciate how the collection’s palette was accented by punches of bold hues, such as vivid red-orange, which blazed down the runway more than once.

It was a thrill to have the opportunity to meet Jil Sander staff in person. The fashion house has been perfectly generous with me.

Once images of garments featuring my work become available, I will certainly share them with you in this space. There’s more to come this fall.

No excuses — there’s plenty of time to set aside some of your wardrobe budget for a Jil Sander / Grant Wiggins sweater!

Until next time, ciao ciaoooo!

— Grant Wiggins


Paintings Featured in Pittsburgh Magazine’s Home of the Year 2014

February 22nd, 2014 | No Comments

paintings in pittsburgh magazine home of the year 2014
Paintings featured in Pittsurgh Magazine’s Home of the Year 2014 cover story include Circles with Corners 26 (hanging on bulkhead) and Still Life with Supplements and Waveforms. Photo by Laura Petrilla. Image via pittsburghmagazine.com


I’m beyond thrilled to announce that my paintings are featured in the cover story of the March 2014 edition of Pittsburgh Magazine, as a part of the publication’s “Home of the Year” awards.

cover of pittsburgh magazine home of the year 2014 edition.

Pittsburgh Magazine has awarded “Renovation of the Year” to the beautiful modern home of Betsy Wentz, an interior designer who owns several of my paintings. Read the full story on pittsburghmagazine.com.

There’s a great story behind this story, as well: Michelle Helena Denk, a longtime friend of mine from Kenyon College, purchased my painting Still Life with Supplements and Waveforms (shown above) from me as a birthday gift for Betsy last summer.

Weeks later, Betsy contacted me for more works. In particular, she was drawn to my Circles with Corners Collection. Betsy purchased five paintings in this collection; two of which (Circles with Corners 26 and Circles with Corners 27) she commissioned. These paintings are hung throughout the bulkhead ceilings of her home’s first floor.

paintings in pittsburgh magazine home of the year 2014
Circles with Corners 22 is among the paintings featured in the print edition of Pittsburgh Magazine’s Home of the Year 2014.


I congratulate Betsy and her family for winning the award. My gratitude goes to Michelle for connecting us.


’60: The Collective’ Art Show at The Walk Way Gallery in Brooklyn

February 20th, 2014 | No Comments

60 the collective, paintings by grant wiggins

On Thursday, March 6, I’ll be showing in Brooklyn, NY, in the one-night group exhibition “60: The Collective.” See the Facebook event invite.

Sixty artists have been invited to display one 12-inch-square work each. A wide range of genres will be represented, including geometric art, neo pop art, street art, and graffiti.

The show will be held at The Walk Way Gallery, located within reBar, at 147 Front Street. Hours are 7 to 10 p.m. An afterparty will follow until 2am.

I sincerely thank artist/co-curator Craig Anthony Miller for inviting me to participate in “60: The Collective,” as well as my longtime friend Patrick Kennedy for facilitating my participation.

This is the second edition of “60: The Collective” curated by Miller and Frankie Velez. The first edition, held last September, was a big hit, with attendance in the hundreds. Plans are already in the works for a third edition in early August.

The painting I will display in the March 6 “60: The Collective” will be a “game-time decision,” so to speak, to be made by the curators. The selection will be made from the following pieces (shown below, clockwise from top left): Lost in Space; The Future, Multiplied by Today; Active Receptor; and Psychoactive Snack.

60 the collective, paintings by grant wiggins

The three paintings not shown on March 6 will be available for private viewing, by request.

If you’re planning on attending, please let me know in the comments section below.


‘Punchline’ at The Institute Library, New Haven; Opens November 9

October 25th, 2013 | No Comments

grant wiggins in punchline at the institute library new haven
Lost in Space: 15-18 October 2013. Acrylic on panel-mounted canvas. 12 inches square (30.5 cm x 30.5 cm).


I am extremely proud and excited to be one of 13 artists showing in Punchline, which opens Saturday, November 9 at The Institute Library in New Haven, Connecticut. This is perhaps my highest-profile show in the East Coast to date.

Punchline explores the use of humor in abstraction. According to curator Kevin Daly, who is also an accomplished artist in his own right, the exhibition is “less self-consciously concerned with relevance and criticality than with the presence of the whimsical.” He cites how all of the artists in Punchline “employ playful processes or formal languages.”

Lost in Space (shown above) will be among the five paintings I’ll be exhibiting in Punchline. The title for this painting is a pun on the process of painting. As I produced this painting throughout mid-October, I definitely felt lost in the act of making. In fact, I scrapped the first attempt. On the second, the color palette changed several times, and it seemed as if I could barely hold onto the creative reigns, as paint layers built up. When this happens, a painting can go either way, for better or worse.

Punchline will remain on view through November 27. Here’s the full roster of artists in the show:


‘Think Small 7’ Miniature Art Show in Richmond, Virginia

October 15th, 2013 | No Comments

grant wiggins in the think small 7 art show in richmond virginia

I’m proud to be among the 250 artists showing in the Think Small 7 miniature art biennial, which opens Friday, October 25 in Richmond, Virginia. I will be showing Vybralta 1 (shown above), a three-inch-square acrylic painting on panel-mounted canvas. I have priced it at $75, in case you’re interested in acquiring it. (Fifty percent of the proceeds goes to artspace, which is a very good cause.)

Works on display in Think Small 7 represent an impressive variety of media and themes. No piece can be larger than 3 inches (7.62 cm) in any dimension. An evolving list of participating artists, including yours truly, can be found at artspacegallery.org/thinksmall.


‘A Show of Hands’ at Tucson Museum of Art

September 20th, 2013 | No Comments

a show of hands at tucson museum of art

My 2005 neo-pop painting, Hands, will be on view throughout this fall and early winter at the Tucson Museum of Art, in the exhibition A Show of Hands.

As one might expect, this show will bring together works of art — paintings, photography, works on paper, and sculptures — that explore the metaphorical potential of hands. A partial list of artists included in this exhibition includes Fernand Léger, Alice Briggs, Enrique Chagoya, Robert Colescott, Dan Collins, Bailey Doogan, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Christopher Pelley, Craig Smith, Buffie Saint-Marie, and others, including yours truly.

Looking back, I consider Hands a transitional painting in the evolution of my work, for it’s one of my last true pop art paintings. Following the tried-and-true path of painting what one knows, Hands is a mash-up of packaging elements from household products — including Reynolds aluminum foil, instructional illustrations on the back of a noodle packet, and the bubbles found on a box of cleaning product.

Bringing these elements together, this painting could just as easily be titled “The Pure Products of America Go Crazy” — the great opening line from the poem “To Elsie” by William Carlos Williams. It seems to ask, what if everyday products were to go haywire, in a hallucinatory way? Perhaps this painting pokes fun at the gimmickry of consumerism, and perhaps it also points the way to an imagined world where everyday products could be completely unpredictable.

This marks my sixth time exhibiting at Tucson Museum of Art over the past 10 years. In addition to participating in the 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 editions of the Arizona Biennial, I also showed in Thanks for Being with Us: Contemporary Art from the Douglas Nielsen Collection, in 2010.

A Show of Hands opens September 21, 2013 and will remain on view through February 9, 2014. More details at tucsonmuseumofart.org.


Biennial: Origins in Geometry at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas

June 23rd, 2013 | No Comments

Origins in Geometry at Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Dallas
Showing in Origins in Geometry at Museum of Geometric and MADI Art Dallas: Optical Odyssey. 2012. Acrylic on canvas. 16 x 20 inches; 41 x 51 cm.


I’m excited and honored to announce that I have been invited to show my work at the Museum of Geometric and MADI Art in Dallas, in the upcoming juried exhibition Biennial: Origins in Geometry.

The painting selected for this show is Optical Odyssey, a vibrant geometric art work that I also displayed last summer in the Vivid Visions exhibition in Portland.

Biennial: Origins in Geometry will be on view from July 19 through October 6. The exhibition aims to “recognize excellence in emerging visual artists deriving inspiration from geometric abstraction.” A catalog will accompany the show.

The curator of Biennial: Origins in Geometry is Clint Willour, who has served as curator at the Galveston Art Center for the past 19 years and is active on boards of numerous arts organizations in Texas.

To see other works like Optical Odyssey, I invite you to visit the Maximalism gallery of my site’s Paintings section.


‘Beyond Minimalism’ Art Exhibition

April 6th, 2013 | No Comments

There’s plenty of time to see the Beyond Minimalism art exhibition I’m a part of at Hudson|LINC Gallery. The show will be on view through Friday, May 3.

Opening night, held March 19, was well attended. Los Angeles artist and designer Sacha Baumann in a very nicely done blog post describes Beyond Minimalism as “really good — bright, playful, tactile,” and offers several interesting glimpses of my paintings on opening night.

Below are photos of my work in Beyond Minimalism:

beyond minimalism art exhibition beyond minimalism art exhibition

From left to right, the paintings are:

Hudson|LINC is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Pacific Design Center’s Blue Building. More at hudsonlinc.com.


Next Show: Beyond Minimalism at Hudson|LINC Gallery, Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, California

March 13th, 2013 | 1 Comment »

pacific design center
Hudson|LINC Gallery is located within the 1.2 million-square-foot Pacific Design Center, which houses 15 art galleries and more than 130 design showrooms in West Hollywood, California.


My next group show is Beyond Minimalism at Hudson|LINC Gallery at Design Lab at PDC, located within the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California.

Beyond Minimalism opens March 19 and will remain on view through May 3. An opening reception will be held March 19, from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

Hudson|LINC curators Shannon LaBelle and Nick Lisica describe Beyond Minimalism as “a visually minimalist show incorporating works that utilize simplification and possess a straightforward quality. The pieces achieve a directness that allows the viewer to encounter the work in the immediate here and now. The show encourages the viewer to engage with work, whether classically minimalist or not, in a way that is uncomplicated and purely aesthetic.”

Including myself, six artists will show in Beyond Minimalism. The show’s roster also includes Robert Boyd, Doug Edge, David French, Victor Landweber, and Ryan McCann.

Meltdown by Grant Wiggins in Beyond Minimalism
Beyond Minimalism will be the first time in which I exhibit Meltdown, a painting I made in March 2011.


I will be exhibiting five paintings in Beyond Minimalism:

Located on the second floor of the Pacific Design Center’s Blue Building, Design Lab at PDC is a collection of galleries that collectively provide “a platform to explore art that addresses the design center’s unique context of interior design, spanning a variety of disciplines and media.”

Hudson|LINC is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Learn more about Hudson|LINC at hudsonlinc.com.

I hope to share installation photos with you next week.