News & Events, Fall 2019

Thursday 12/12/2019

Willie Cole at ASSEMBLAGE: AN ORGANICALLY GROWN EXHIBITION at Culture Lab, West Palm Beach, FL, 2018. Photo by Related Companies. Courtesy of Culture Corps.

Nancy Princenthal Interviews Willie Cole


As part of BOMB Magazine's Oral History Project series, faculty member Nancy Princenthal interviews Willie Cole


Born in New Jersey and still residing there, Willie Cole is a global traveler in life and art. Working with objects found in the streets and junkshops of Newark and Harlem—including steam irons, hair dryers, lawn jockeys and plastic water bottles—and with sources ranging from Yoruba and Senufo masks and sacred figures to major works of early Modernism, Cole forges assemblages distinguished by their sharp wit and formal elegance. Calling himself, in a two-part 2019 interview, an “archeological ethnographic Dadaist,” he explained his unified theory of matter to me, a source of the spiritual current that runs throughout his work: “I’m sure a physicist could say it better than me, but if you break everything down to the smallest particle, everything is the same. It’s the rate of vibration that creates the illusion of solidity.”

Read the interview here.