(American, b. 1954)
Overall: 177.8 x 174 x 174 cm (70 x 68 1/2 x 68 1/2 in.)
The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2012.115
© Fred Wilson
Wilson’s chandeliers are the first black chandeliers ever to be created in the history of Venetian glassmaking.
To Die Upon a Kiss is the dying line of Othello, the African General in Shakespeare’s tragic play set in 1600s Venice, Italy. The title speaks to Wilson's interest in the overlooked history of Africans living in Venice. Wilson says, “My chandeliers have become a vehicle for embodying things that are as complex as Othello himself. Most are a meditation on death, on Blackness, on beauty.” Wilson worked with master glass craftsmen from the Murano glass factories in Venice to create this sculpture. The glass fades from clear to deep black. Throughout his career, Wilson has brought to light alternative historical narratives by appropriating familiar objects and challenging viewers to see them in new ways.
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