Adam Daley Wilson: Language Layers As Performative Art and Illegible Erasures of Still Existing Meaning

Adam Daley Wilson
1 min readJul 19, 2022
Courtesy Adam Daley Wilson Artist and ENGAGE Projects Gallery Chicago: Example of physical layers: This detail of a 2021 piece shows approximately 9 to 10 layers of different shades of oil stick and charcoal, with the oil stick residue forming tangible depths and outcroppings 1/8 inch thick in places due to the pressure and speed of the artists’ hand.

This brief article memorializes observations by two celebrated artists from Mexico, one of letters and one of visual art: The artist’s caused-by-bipolar obsession with writing and over-writing in layers on a surface until the idea is completely out — it is not just the creation of a piece; it is not just the placing of a narrative on a surface; it is, through its resulting sweat and blisters and sometimes blood, through its movement of the body from ladder to prone on floor, covered in remnants of oil sticks staining the body and clothes, a truly and legitimately performative work, although not witnessed, and it is also, simultaneously, not just the expression of art, or of language, or of symbols, but, by its over-writing, the act of erasing, voiding, meaning as soon as it is created, except that the artist, through the illegibility to the other, knows what the meaning rendered illegible is, and has recorded it, and so while gone within minutes of being born, remains alive, with cognitive meaning, and with perhaps universally understood feeling, forever.

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Adam Daley Wilson

Adam Daley Wilson is a conceptual artist and oil painter represented by ENGAGE Projects Gallery Chicago. Adam Wilson, Portland Maine, Stanford Law, Penn, BP1