Opening Reception: Willie Cole, The B-Sides: 1989-2022

18 November 2023 
4–7 PM

Join us at Kavi Gupta | Washington Blvd. on Saturday, November 18 from 4–7 PM for the opening reception of The B-Sides: 1989-2022, a solo exhibition surveying the career of acclaimed artist and perceptual engineer Willie Cole.


Cole’s aesthetic position has long been associated with upcycling: the creative reuse of materials that might otherwise be destined for the junkyard. He has made artworks out of old clothes irons, vintage shoes, plastic water bottles, and, most recently, musical instruments.

There is much more to Cole’s art than implied by a perfunctory analysis of his materials. Unlike so many other objets trouvés artists of the present and the past, whose ideas relate more to simple accumulation, combination, or anti-art sentiment, Cole’s work possesses an underlying humanity that shows he is part of something more profound than aesthetic, or even ecological, trends.

Recent exhibitions of Cole's work include 
To Reclaim, Kavi Gupta, Chicago, IL, USA; New Concepts in Printmaking 2: Willie Cole, MoMA, New York, NY, USA; Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA; Chicago, Surrealism: The Conjured Life, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL, USA; and Afro: Black Identity in America and Brazil, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Cole’s work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; MoMA, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Wake Forest University Student Union Collection of Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC; and many others.