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Richard Wilson RA

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 such as Japan, China, the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Iraq, as well as throughout Europe. Wilson has also represented Britain in the Sydney, Sao Paulo, Venice Aperto Biennials and 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 select 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 generated universal 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. As part of the Tate Modern Artists Book Series, Richard Wilson by Simon Morrissey was published by Tate Publishing.

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 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the University of Middlesex.

Wilson’s work is often inspired by the techniques and materials of engineering and construction. In 2008, he 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. He is currently working on a major solo show at Annely Juda Fine Art in London, to be held in 2017. He has just completed serving a four-year honorary professorship of sculpture at the RA Schools. Wilson is represented by Michelle D’Souza Fine Art.

Wilson is the Co-ordinator of the Summer Exhibition 2016.


Royal Academician


Born: 1953 in London, England, United Kingdom

Nationality: British

Elected RA: 27 March 2006

Professor of Sculpture 2011-2015

Gender: Male

Visit Richard Wilson RA's website

Preferred media: Sculpture

Works by Richard Wilson in the RA Collection

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Works associated with Richard Wilson in the RA Collection

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