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Bruce Wilhelm, Multicolor Stretcher Shroud with Block Edits, 66 x 53 inches, acrylic on canvas, 2017

Born and currently working in Richmond VA, Bruce Wilhelm earned his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and went on to receive his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. Formerly based out of Philadelphia, Wilhelm is also the cofounder of artist collective, Grizzly Grizzly, which began in 2009 as a space for innovative work without the constraints of institutional agendas or commercial interests. Wilhelm has been exhibited in galleries and art fairs from coast to coast over the last ten years, and was most recently featured in Miami’s “Untitled” Art Fair in December of 2017. He’s a two-time recipient of the VMFA Professional Fellowship for painting in both 2004 and 2006, and has been represented by ADA Gallery in Richmond, VA since 2005.
Wilhelm’s most recent work has manifested in a series of five-foot abstract canvases that veer from his previous emphasis on props and intermediaries. These works embody new experiments in play and playfulness, as he explains, “the arts’ most important contribution since the renaissance is its openness, its exploration, its counter-culture—its non-compliance. I embrace this. I’m a painter, but I’m here to explore painting and what it means to be a painter in 2018.” These new canvases feature permutations of the geometric and organic, their cutting away from one another, their overlapping and criss-crossing methodologies. Range and playfulness are apparent in these pieces, but so is a sense of structured deliberateness; these explorations work to establish an intimate relationship with the medium and the world they inhabit. While the works speak to one another in terms of scale and medium, variances between the canvases speak to Wilhelm’s desire to “reject the need for explicit continuity between individual pieces, series of works, or even the ideas that drive any artistic venture.” Viewers are invited to face the materiality of acrylic, canvas, the jagged edge of cut and collage, and raw strokes of expert deliberation.

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Bruce Wilhelm, Earth Wall with Fragments and Smudges, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 53 inches, 2017

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Bruce Wilhelm, NEXT, collage on paper, 36.5 x 30 inches, 2017

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Bruce Wilhelm, Stretcher Shroud With Fragments, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 53 inches, 2017

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