Look At What We Have Created, Several Years Later

Adam Daley Wilson, artist, oil painting, white text on black canvas, words look at what we have created, christopher wool stencil, Adam Daley Wilson is a conceptual, postconceptual, postminimalist and postmodern painter represented by ENGAGE Projects Gallery in Chicago. Adam Wilson’s studio is in Portland Maine.
Look At What We Have Created, oil on canvas, 84 in x 66 in x 2 in, Palm Beach gallery view, 2022, Arts & Conversations (Palm Beach) Gallery with ENGAGE Projects Gallery (Chicago). Courtesy Arts & Conversations, ENGAGE Projects Gallery, and Adam Daley Wilson.

Look At What We Have Created — With its unambiguous aesthetic that sets forth an observation that is fully ambiguous as among not just two but many potential meanings, Look At What We Have Created, at first glance, may suggest societal struggles and polarizations, or other events of the present or past, that appear intractable, immovable, or past the time of alteration and repair. But on closer inspection, the language leaves open the possibility of potential in not just one but in two ways, by suggesting, first, that “we” in the past already created a foundation for democracy, equality, and constitutional rights, which we simply need to rediscover again — and, second, by suggesting that, if looking back from a later date in “our” future, we will be able to see that we not only reset the values of our own society and our democracy, but we also reset our relationship to a planet and all its living things. But the viewer will then note: These readings presume cohesion. Consensus. Yet nothing close to these appear to now exist — another thing that “we” appear to have created.

These are just some of the meanings a viewer may draw from this piece as they contemplate the juxtaposition of the stark aesthetic and the three elements of ambiguity — “we” and “have” and “created.”

Look at What We Have Created, ultimately, may plausibly speak to “our” collective potential to create a new Eden not just for some, but for all, about all . Just as plausibly, it may be a final observation: This is what we did, this is how we spent our time. Which, itself, might to the viewer become a question of whether it was “we” — however defined — or whether it was “you” — or “them.”

As such, the ambiguity and tension in the language of Look At What We Have Created is not, in the end, resolved by of questions about what was created, or when. Rather, the piece suggests that the core questions — both the core ambiguities of the work and of these living times —are questions not only of inclusion and exclusion, but also of responsibility — even culpability — and, in faint answer, questions of whether what has been created can thus far are grounds to retreat and withdraw, or instead to explore notions of cooperation and consensus anew.

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Adam Daley Wilson

Adam Daley Wilson

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Adam Daley Wilson — outsider artist, represented artist, ENGAGE Projects Gallery Chicago. Conceptual art, painting, video informed by — not about — bipolar 1.