Willie Cole

Willie Cole | Ci Wara Sculptures

Willie Cole interviewed about Ci Wara Sculptures for The Met’s “The Artist Project”

Highpoint Editions artist Willie Cole was interviewed for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s The Artist Project, an online series produced by the museum in which they give artists an opportunity to respond to their encyclopedic collection. Willie Cole, an American sculptor, chose Ci Wara sculptures from the museum’s African Art collection. This type of sculpture was the first he learned about in school in the early 1970s, and the “graphic nature” and “symmetry” of the sculptures inspired him and is reflected in much of his work.

More on The Met’s The Artist Project: From 2015 to 2016, we invited 120 artists—local, national, and global—to choose individual works of art or galleries that spark their imaginations. In this online series, artists reflect on what art is, what inspires them from across 5,000 years of art, and in so doing, they reveal the power of a museum and The Met. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art encourage all museum visitors to look in a personal way.

To hear Willie Cole’s entire episode, click here.

Above: Portrait of Willie Cole | Ci Wara sculptures, 19th-early 20th century, by the Bamana peoples in the Bamako region of Mali. Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, Gift of Nelson A. Rockefeller, 1964

Willie Cole (b. 1955) earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He also studied at the Art Students League of New York and at Boston University’s School of Fine Arts. A native of New Jersey, the artist lives and works in his home state.

Willie Cole’s work has been acquired and exhibited by many stellar institutions, including:
The Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; MCA Chicago; the National Gallery of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Cleveland Art Museum; Walker Art Center; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and numerous others.

More information can also be found on the artist’s website: