Stephen Willats

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Stephen Willats
Born 1943
London
Nationality English
Education Ealing School of Art
Known for Conceptual Art, Social Practice
Notable work(s) West London Social Resource Project
Movement Social Practice

Stephen Willats (born London, 1943) is a British artist. He lives and works in London.

Stephen Willats is a pioneer of conceptual art.[1] Since the early 1960s he has created work concerned with extending the territory in which art functions. His work has involved interdisciplinary processes and theory from sociology, systems analysis, cybernetics, semiotics and philosophy.

Works[edit]

His multi-media projects often engage visitors to participate in creative social processes. Notable projects include Multiple Clothing (1965–1998), The West London Social Resource Project (1972), and the book Art and Social Function: Three Projects (1976). Willats considers Art and Social Function as a "kind of manual or tool that would be relevant to any artist thinking of enacting different paradigms for an art intervening in the fabric of society".

His 1973 work Meta Filter consisted of pairs of participants seated at a computer, attempting to reach an agreement about the meanings of various images and statements.[2]

He has produced a number of extended projects working with residents of public housing estates across Europe.[3] Examples include Pat Purdy and the Glue Sniffers' Club (1981-2), The Kids are in the Street (1981-2) and Are You Good Enough for the Cha Cha Cha? (1982), about, respectively, wasteland outside the Avondale estate in West London, a skateboard park near a Brixton housing estate, and a London punk music club.[4] For Brentford Towers (1985) Willats worked with residents to map the interiors of their homes, identifying objects holding personal significance.[5]

His works are held in the collections of the Tate,[2] the National Portrait Gallery,[6] and the Henry Moore Institute.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Willats - British Council Germany
  2. ^ a b Tate biography
  3. ^ Grant H. Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, University of California Press, 2004, p91. ISBN 0-520-23839-7
  4. ^ Grant H. Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, University of California Press, 2004, p93. ISBN 0-520-23839-7
  5. ^ Grant H. Kester, Conversation Pieces: Community and Communication in Modern Art, University of California Press, 2004, p96. ISBN 0-520-23839-7
  6. ^ npg.org.uk
  7. ^ henry-moore-fdn.co.uk

External links[edit]