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Richard Wilson Biography

Born in 1953, Richard Wilson is one of Britain’s most renowned sculptors. He is internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space which draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.

Wilson has exhibited widely nationally and internationally for over 35 years, with major museum exhibitions and public works in countries including Japan, China, the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Australia, and Iraq, as well as throughout Europe. Wilson has also represented Britain in the Sydney, São Paulo, and Venice Aperto Biennials, and the Yokohama and Aichi Triennals.

Wilson was nominated for the Turner Prize on two occasions and was awarded the prestigious DAAD residency in Berlin 1992/3. He was one of a number of artists invited to create a major public work for the Millennium Dome and the only British artist invited to participate in Japan’s Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial in 2000.

Wilson’s projects have met with widespread critical acclaim. His installation 20:50, a sea of reflective sump oil which is permanently installed in the Saatchi Collection – was described as “one of the masterpieces of the modern age” by art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon in his BBC television series, The History of British Art. In 2004, Wilson was appointed Visiting Research Professor at the University of East London. In 2006 he was elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts and in 2008 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Middlesex. Wilson has also served as honorary professor of sculpture at the RA schools.

In 2008 Wilson was commissioned to contribute to Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture. His work, Turning the Place Over, was comprised of a vast ovoid section of a façade which rotated three-dimensionally on a spindle. In 2012, he held an exhibition to celebrate the London Olympics at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill in Sussex. His work, Hang On A Minute Lads, I’ve Got A Great Idea, featured a full-sized replica of a vintage Harrington Legionnaire coach that appeared to be teetering on the edge of the gallery’s roof. The work was inspired by the final line of the 1969 British heist movie The Italian Job, as spoken by screen legend Michael Caine. The work travelled to The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, and was the first installation in a three-year partnership between the hotel and the Royal Academy.In 2014, Wilson opened a major commission, Slipstream, for Heathrow’s new Terminal 2.

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