John Wilde MMoCA Collects

American, 1919–2006

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John Wilde at work in his studio. Photograph by Peter Gardetto. Courtesy of the artist.
John Wilde, Portrait of D, oil on wood, 1988.

John Wilde was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where after serving in World War II he began a distinguished teaching career. In style, his art is a modern extension of traditional realist styles. His meticulous drawing and candid portrayals of the human figure are suggestive of fifteenth-century Flemish and Italian Renaissance art. The element of fantasy in his art also joins him to older northern European traditions. His renderings, however, of living forms that do not seem drawn from nature and his illogical juxtapositions of objects place him within the context of Surrealism and Magic Realism, whose incongruous dream worlds he admires. His art of improbable situations nonetheless explores the most traditional of themes in Western art: love and death. His work is held in the permanent collections of prestigious museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

More Works by John Wilde in the MMoCA Collection

Still Life with Tangerine
A Red-breasted Nuthatch

Related Topics

Suggested Readings

Yapelli, Tina. John Wilde: Eros and Thanatos. Madison Art Center (now Madison Museum of Contemporary Art). 1993.

John Wilde, Portrait of D, 1988, oil on wood, 62 x 29 inches. Collection of Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Purchase, through Rudolph and Louise Langer Fund and gift from Karen Johnson Boyd. 1992.01 © John Wilde.

John Wilde at work in his studio. Photograph by Peter Gardetto. Courtesy of the artist.