Robert Wilson
American stage director
Robert Wilson
Robert Wilson is an American avant-garde stage director and playwright who has been called "[America America]'s — or even the world's — foremost vanguard 'theater artist'". Over the course of his wide-ranging career, he has also worked as a choreographer, performer, painter, sculptor, video artist, and sound and lighting designer.
Biography
Robert Wilson's personal information overview.
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News
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Ballet great Baryshnikov steps into Nijinsky's shoes
Yahoo News - 2 months
Dream castings don't come much better than Mikhail Baryshnikov playing Vaslav Nijinsky -- one great ballet dancer playing another. Baryshnikov, now 68, is the star of "Letter to a Man", a one-person theatre show by the acclaimed American director Robert Wilson which follows Nijinsky's slide into insanity. The Russian dance genius, who had revolutionised ballet with his choregraphy for Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" while he was still in his early twenties, went slowly mad after his former lover, the impresario Serge Diaghilev, cut him lose.
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Yahoo News article
From Burroughs to Uncle Howard: An Interview with Aaron Brookner
Huffington Post - 3 months
The new documentary Uncle Howard is an inspired compilation of recovered footage, interviews, a story of discovery by Aaron Brookner, a filmmaker who followed in his uncle's craft. A passing of a baton, you could say, Uncle Howard reflects Aaron Brookner's determination to ensure his uncle's legacy. Aaron was seven when Howard Brookner, died of AIDS in 1989. Some family films show them together, a handsome, charming young man with a cute little boy. In 1983, Howard Brookner's biopic Burroughs was featured in the New York Film Festival, and then lost. Aaron found the film at the Bunker, Burroughs' residence on the Bowery, and this year Criterion released the DVD thanks to Aaron Brookner's work on restoring his uncle's work. But more, Aaron found enough additional footage to create this homage, with producers Jim Jarmusch and Sara Driver who remembers this talented group including Howard as student filmmakers together excited by the chance to tell stories in new ways in film. Coming fu ...
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Huffington Post article
How Two Astronomers Accidentally Discovered the Big Bang
CNN - 5 months
Nowadays, it's a universally accepted theory that the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with the Big Bang. But did you know that two radio astronomers unintentionally stumbled upon its discovery? In the 1960s, Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias were measuring the brightness of the sky with their radio telescope. No matter where they pointed it, they picked up an inexplicable droning sound. What initially sounded like a mistake ended up being the discovery of a lifetime.
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CNN article
Oliver Stone's Snowden: Toronto Film Festival From Afar
Huffington Post - 5 months
On Friday night, Oliver Stone's new movie, Snowden, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Early reviews were embargoed until then. But I can tell you, from the reaction of a tony crowd at a summer screening in East Hampton, let the award season begin with this movie. Peggy Siegal introduced Oliver Stone, providing a bit of the JFK director's resume: the 3 time Oscar winner adapted the script for Midnight Express (1978), and won for Best Picture and Best Director for Platoon (1986). His second Best Director award came for Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Stone makes important films, and his new one addresses and challenges our ideas about national security, and whether or not Edward Snowden is a hero. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the role, and Snowden is his best film. The supporting cast includes Melissa Leo as filmmaker Laura Poitras whose Citizen Four, an interview with the exiled Snowden, won an Academy Award for best documentary. Nicolas Cage is fine as a computer geek, and Sha ...
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Huffington Post article
Front Row: An Avant-Garde Director Sets the Stage for Hermès
NYTimes - 10 months
The theater director Robert Wilson pulls out the stops — and pulls in a pig — for a collaboration with the French luxury-goods company.
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NYTimes article
A Visionary Artist Creates a Surreal Universe for Hermès
NYTimes - 10 months
Robert Wilson collaborated with the fashion house on “Here Elsewhere,” an immersive installation filling five themed rooms in Chelsea.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Sadly, Naming Five Women Artists Isn't As Easy As It Sounds
Huffington Post - 12 months
There is no bad day to raise awareness about the lack of gender equality in the art world. But there are some that just particularly scream, "Celebrate the women artists in your favorite museum's collections and demand way more of them!" And those are the days in Women's History Month -- i.e., right now.  Happy Women's History Month, by the way!  Throughout the month of March, the National Museum of Women in the Arts will be celebrating gifted lady artists past and present with the social media campaign #5womenartists. The digital call to arms was inspired by the sad fact that, as easy as it sounds, many people have trouble naming just five women artists, which is insane because some of us can probably name five male artists named Robert alone. (Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Frank, Robert Therrien, Robert Heineken, Robert Irwin. Woo! Robert Longo. Robert Wilson. Ugh.)  For centuries, women have fought the unjust limitations placed upon them as artists and creators. ...
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Huffington Post article
Watch: Santa's Special Delivery for Son of Fallen Officer
ABC News - about 1 year
Community members pooled money to buy 2-year-old Robert Wilson IV a Power Wheels truck, which his now single mother could not afford for the holidays.
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ABC News article
Pastor receives criminal summons for being 'too loud'
Fox News - about 1 year
Pastor Rob Wilton speaks out
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Fox News article
CultureZohn: A Year of Artistic Inspiration Courtesy of Rolex
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The 2015 Rolex Mentors and Proteges "Pinch me," said Miroslav Penkov, the Bulgarian writing protégé of Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) one of seven Rolex protégés in this, the seventh round of their Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. I felt precisely the same way. At the culmination weekend ceremonies and presentations in Mexico City, I stole glances at the boldface cultural names seated casually next to me or lounging on the steps (Mira Nair, Mark Morris, Walter Murch, Kazuyo Sejima, Robert Wilson, David Chipperfield et al), or eavesdropped over fish tacos on a late night conversation between previous mentor-protégé pair Julie Taymor and Selina Cartmell about the challenges of finding opportunities as a talented, ambitious woman, or had the serendipitous honor of introducing South African artist William Kentridge to Swiss architect Peter Zumthor on the stairwell of the new Jumex Museum, or studied Diego Rivera's historic murals with Kentridge and Teju Cole. It was ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
CultureZohn: A Year of Artistic Inspiration Courtesy of Rolex
Huffington Post - about 1 year
The 2015 Rolex Mentors and Proteges "Pinch me," said Miroslav Penkov, the Bulgarian writing protégé of Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) one of seven Rolex protégés in this, the seventh round of their Mentor and Protege Arts Initiative. I felt precisely the same way. At the culmination weekend ceremonies and presentations in Mexico City, I stole glances at the boldface cultural names seated casually next to me or lounging on the steps (Mira Nair, Mark Morris, Walter Murch, Kazuyo Sejima, Robert Wilson, David Chipperfield et al), or eavesdropped over fish tacos on a late night conversation between previous mentor-protégé pair Julie Taymor and Selina Cartmell about the challenges of finding opportunities as a talented, ambitious woman, or had the serendipitous honor of introducing South African artist William Kentridge to Swiss architect Peter Zumthor on the stairwell of the new Jumex Museum, or studied Diego Rivera's historic murals with Kentridge and Teju Cole. It was as ...
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Huffington Post article
Baltimore Is Burning -- Not Just in flames, But With a Righteous Anger
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
This article was originally published by Waging Nonviolence. Baltimore is my home town -- the birth place of Jonah House, a Christian nonviolent resistance community founded by my parents, Phil Berrigan and Elizabeth McAlister. Those places that the whole world is seeing "going crazy" on the news? They are my geography, my history, who I am. Baltimore is many things to many people and I feel like I am right there even though I am far away right now. North and Pennsylvania, where police cars burned, is the site of one of my many bike accidents. Going too fast on wet pavement, my bicycle skidded out from under me and I fell in front of a crowd of people waiting for the bus. Someone laughed dramatically; I waved, bowed and got back on my bike, skinned knees stinging. The shopping center on McMechen Street -- where people broke windows and thieved as neighbors photographed license plates and called for peace -- was on my way home from school. My brother and I went there all the tim ...
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Huffington Post article
Third Suspect in Dog Walker Shooting; Lawncrest Meeting Protest; Bike Parade for Sgt Robert Wilson
iradio philly - almost 2 years
The third suspect accused in the murder of a man walking his dog in Overbrook last Thursday night turned himself in overnight. Two 15 year olds in custody include the alleged shooter, Tyfine Hamilton and Brandon Smith. They will be charged with...
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iradio philly article
Family members of Officer Robert Wilson open up
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
We are learning more about slain Philadelphia Police Officer Robert Wilson III from those who knew him best - his family.
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Yahoo News article
Prayer vigil honors slain Phila. police officer
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
A prayer vigil was held Saturday in honor of slain Officer Robert Wilson III, who was gunned down during a robbery attempt in North Philadelphia.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Robert Wilson
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2013
    Age 71
    In 2013 he participated at the White House Biennial / Thessaloniki Biennale 4.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson is represented by the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York City.
    He subsequently designed the set for her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards performance.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson also suggested that Gaga pose for his Voom Portraits. Knowing he had an upcoming residency as guest curator at the Louvre, Wilson chose themes from the museum's collection, all dealing with death. They shot the videos in a London studio over three days, Gaga standing for 14 or 15 hours at a time. Called “Living Rooms,” the resulting exhibition included two video works: one inspired by Jacques-Louis David's The Death of Marat, hung in the painting galleries, and another in which Lady Gaga brings to life a painting by Ingres. In the Louvre's auditorium, Wilson hosted and took part in a series of performances, conversations, film screenings, and discussions. The centerpiece of the residency is a room filled with objects from the artist's personal collection in New York, including African masks, a Shaker chair, ancient Chinese ceramics, shoes worn by Marlene Dietrich and a photo of Wilson and Glass taken in the early 1980s by Robert Mapplethorpe.
    American pop singer Lady Gaga announced in 2013 that she would collaborate with Wilson as part of her ARTPOP project.
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    In 2013 Wilson, in collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov and co-starring Willem Dafoe, developed "The Old Woman", an adaptation of the work by the Russian author Daniil Kharms.
    More Details Hide Details The play premiered at MIF13, Manchester International Festival. Wilson wrote that he and Baryshnikov have discussed creating a play together for years, perhaps based on a Russian text. The final production included dance, light, singing and bilingual monologue. Since 1999, Wilson has premiered nine theatrical works in Berlin; as of 2013, his last commission in the United States was 21 years ago. He continues to direct revivals of his most celebrated productions, including The Black Rider in London, San Francisco, Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles; The Temptation of St. Anthony in New York and Barcelona; Erwartung in Berlin; Madama Butterfly at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow; and Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He also directs all Monteverdi Operas for the opera houses of La Scala in Milan and the Palais Garnier in Paris.
  • 2012
    Age 70
    In 2012, Times Square Arts invited Wilson to show selections from his three-minute video portraits on more than twenty digital screens that lined Times Square.
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  • 2011
    Age 69
    In 2011, New York-based company International Flavors & Fragrances created a new scent, titled Black Rider, in Wilson's honor on the occasion of the director's 70th birthday.
    More Details Hide Details Extensive retrospectives have been presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1991) and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (1991). He has presented installations at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1993), London's Clink Street Vaults (1995), Neue Nationalgalerie (2003), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. His tribute to Isamu Noguchi was exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum and his Voom Portraits exhibition traveled to Hamburg, Milan, Miami, and Philadelphia.
  • 2007
    Age 65
    In 2007, Wilson was evicted from the Vestry Street loft he had lived and worked in for 34 years by developer Aby Rosen.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, he signed a lease at 111 Front Street.
  • 2004
    Age 62
    In 2004, Ali Hossaini offered Wilson a residency at the television channel LAB HD.
    More Details Hide Details Since then Wilson, with producer Esther Gordon (and among others Brad Pitt, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robert Downey, Jr., Winona Ryder, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Dita von Teese, and Peter Sarsgaard) and later with Matthew Shattuck, has produced dozens of high-definition videos known as the Voom Portraits. Collaborators on this well-received project included the composer Michael Galasso, the late artist and designer Eugene Tsai, fashion designer Kevin Santos, and lighting designer Urs Schönebaum. In addition to celebrity subjects, sitters have included royalty, animals, Nobel Prize winners and hobos.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1993
    Age 51
    In addition to his work for the stage, Wilson creates sculpture, drawings, and furniture designs. He won the Golden Lion at the 1993 Venice Biennale for a sculptural installation.
    More Details Hide Details Exhibited in December 1976 at the Paula Cooper Gallery, Wilson's storyboards were described by one critic as “serial art, equivalent to the slow-motion tempo of Wilson's theatrical style. In drawing after drawing after drawing, a detail is proposed, analyzed, refined, redefined, moved through various positions.”
  • FORTIES
  • 1990
    Age 48
    In 1990 alone, Wilson created four new productions in four different West German cities: Shakespeare's King Lear in Frankfurt, Chekhov's Swan Song in Munich, an adaptation of Virginia Woolf's Orlando in West Berlin, and The Black Rider, a collaboration by Wilson, Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs, in Hamburg.
    More Details Hide Details Wilson is known for pushing the boundaries of theatre. His works are noted for their austere style, very slow movement, and often extreme scale in space or in time. The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin was a 12-hour performance, while KA MOUNTain and GUARDenia Terrace was staged on a mountaintop in Iran and lasted seven days. In 2010 Wilson was working on a new stage musical with composer (and long-time collaborator) Tom Waits and the Irish playwright, Martin McDonagh. His theatrical production of Lecture on Nothing, which was commissioned for a celebration of the John Cage centenary at the 2012 Ruhrtriennale, gave its U.S. premiere in Royce Hall by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA in 2013.
  • 1983
    Age 41
    In 1983/84, Wilson planned a performance for the 1984 Summer Olympics, the CIVIL warS: A Tree Is Best Measured When It Is Down; the complete work was to have been 12 hours long, in 6 parts. The production was only partially completed - the full event was cancelled by the Olympic Arts Festival, due to insufficient funds. In 1986, the Pulitzer Prize jury unanimously selected the CIVIL warS for the drama prize, but the supervisory board rejected the choice and gave no drama award that year.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1972
    Age 30
    In 1972, Wilson's Deafman Glance, a long, silent play, appeared at the Nancy Festival, and later opened in Paris, championed by the designer Pierre Cardin.
    More Details Hide Details The Surrealist poet Louis Aragon loved it and published a letter to the Surrealist poet André Breton (who had died in 1966), in which he praised Wilson as: "What we, from whom Surrealism was born, dreamed would come after us and go beyond us".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1969
    Age 27
    With this company, he created his first major works, beginning with 1969's The King of Spain and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud.
    More Details Hide Details He began to work in opera in the early 1970s, creating Einstein on the Beach with the composer Philip Glass, which brought the two artists worldwide renown. Following Einstein, Wilson worked increasingly with major European theaters and opera houses. For the New York debut of the opera, the Metropolitan Opera allowed Wilson to rent the house on a Sunday, but would not produce the work. The house sold out in two days.
  • 1968
    Age 26
    In 1968, he founded an experimental performance company, the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds (named for a teacher who helped him overcome a speech impediment – a severe stutter – while a teenager).
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  • 1963
    Age 21
    He moved to Brooklyn in 1963, receiving a BFA in architecture from the Pratt Institute in 1965.
    More Details Hide Details He also attended lectures by Sibyl Moholy-Nagy (widow of László Moholy-Nagy), and studied painting with the artist George McNeil. Later he went to Arizona to study architecture with Paolo Soleri at his complex. Moving to New York City in the mid-1960s, Wilson found himself drawn to the work of pioneering choreographers George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham, among others.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1941
    Born
    Born on October 4, 1941.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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