Paul Andrew Wandless is an artist, educator and author whose work is distinguished by its combination of clay and printmaking. He attended Minnesota State University-Mankato and the University of Delaware, where James Tanner and Victor Spinsky were important models for the artist to develop his clay-narrative-printmaking hybrids. Born in Florida and raised in Delaware, Wandless currently lives in Chicago, where he teaches at Harold Washington University.
Presenting as the first guest of the Glenn C. Nelson Memorial Lecture Series, the artist will be in residence at UMD, November 29-30.
Glenn Nelson was the founder of the UMD ceramics program in the 1960s and the original source of the ceramics collection at the Tweed Museum of Art. As author of Image Transfer On Clay (Lark Books, 2006), Wandless is in demand, conducting clay-print technique workshops that include screening, stenciling, mono-printing, linoleum blocks, solar plates, and decals. Working also as an independent curator, Wandless gravitates toward artists who combine print and ceramic processes. The work of UMD faculty member Jim Klueg has been exhibited often with the work of Paul Wandless and like-minded clay artists.
In 1999 and 2006, Wandless co-founded the website www.culturalvisions.org, and the on-line magazine www.terracottamag.com.
The artist’s work consists of large ceramic tiles with applied pictorial fragments, and sculptural figures with applied surface imagery that provides narrative expression. The content of the work is based upon a range of personal experience, as well as myth and allegory. Included in this display, the figurative sculpture Mariner suggests an iconic notion of the seafarer as a metaphor for negotiating life’s journey. Note the seashell. It recalls a story that derives from the advice of the Navigator’s mother. She has reminded him to listen for the ocean in a shell. Symbolizing that art is derived of the labor of craftsmen, the artist uses the image of a handprint in this work and others that make up Wandless’ Tools of the Trade series.
“My accumulated observations and personalized philosophies manifest themselves as narratives, anecdotes, myths and characters… Some clay prints are one-of-a-kind pieces… others belong to suites. But all tell stories and share insights with the viewer. Working sculpturally, the figure serves as a point of departure and is used as canvas for images, symbols and text. This allows me to apply a metaphorical face to personal concerns, beliefs, fears, ideologies and philosophies.”
November 8th, 2011 - January 8th, 2012
At the Tweed Museum of Art
*Free and open to the public