Featured Artist

Rex Weil

Grand Prize Award Recipient
Purchase Award Recipient
Rex Weil
Sample Work
No exhibits found.

Rex Weil was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lived until moving to Evanston, Illinois to attend Northwestern University. Since 1980, he has lived and worked in Washington, DC. His paintings, sculpture and collage are included in private and corporate collections throughout the US and abroad. He has received DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) fellowships for his work, and his artwork has been reviewed in national and international publications, including the Washington Post, ARTnews and the Huffington Post.

Artist Statement

The most urgent problem for artists today: how can we make work that resists the potent mix of reactionary politics, commerce and entertainment that makes the unacceptable status quo appear inevitable. How can we make and exhibit art without simply adopting already compromised modes of expression? In that regard, my work is thoroughly grounded in and builds on important developments in the history of twentieth century art. The roots of an enduring critical posture for the arts emerged with a vengeance during and after World War I and the Russian Revolution: Dada, Surrealism and Constructivism -- all very different, but allied movements that continue to have major relevance today. My work demonstrates my deliberate and thoughtful treatment of these issues and my careful deployment of technique to negotiate this territory. I make elegant, rough and simple work using the detritus of commerce and history .... work that can exist only as art but, because of its simplicity, scale and straightforwardness, resists becoming just another decoration for power.

The collages on CollexArt are part of my Ripography series. They are composed of pennant shapes torn from published images, text and graphic ephemera. The sources are advertising flyers, cheap reproductions of art, paperback art texts, home buyers guides, and second hand coffee table books (on human anatomy and maps, for example), along with ripped pages from my notes on texts. 

The process of accumulating the original visual material is adventitious -- whatever presents itself through the mail slot or on book racks at thrift stores is fair game. In the studio, I rip page after page into shapes, which are organized into piles according to dominant themes. Themes include subject matter, colors, textures represented, typographical fonts, and more. The collages are then composed from the piles spontaneously with an eye to effective interactions of pattern, form, color and topicality. This accretive process might be thought of as the opposite of the decollage of Jacques Villegle or Mimmo Rotella. 

I like the word 'rip' because my procedure is aggressive, even violent in its way. Nonetheless, it is a violence that has its counterpart in sensuality: the reassembly and repurposing of the 'rips' into dense, rhythmic collages. As such, they provide an occasion for reflection on the covert 'spectacular' commentary concealed in the original material. 

I Education:

Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois (B.A., 1973); Corcoran College of Art & Design, Washington, DC (1981-82); additional studies: Georgetown University, Washington, DC (1980) and Escuela Libre de Derecho, Mexico, DF (1976)

II. Fellowships/Grants:

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Individual Artist Grants 1987; 1991, 2015, 2016; 2018; 2021
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities City Arts or PEF Grants FY 1993 – FY 2021.

III. Selected Exhibitions:

(individual exhibitions indicated by ***)

• Faculty Exhibition, University of Maryland Art Gallery (fall, 2021)
• Glimpses Toward Infinity, University of Maryland Art Gallery (fall, 2018)
• Transformer Auction Exhibition, American University Art Museum, Washington, DC (fall, 2016)
• University of Maryland Department of Art Faculty Exhibition, College Park MD (2016)
• Readymades 100, American University Art Museum, Washington, DC (fall, 2014)
• 14 Artists/14 Titles, S-crew Studio exhibitions, Washington, DC (2011, 2012, 2014)
• Transformer Auction Exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art (November, 2013)
• Personal Effects, Furthermore, Washington, DC (September, 2013)
• Ripography: Recent Work with Paper, DCAC, Washington, DC (March-April, 2012)***
• University of Maryland Department of Art Faculty Exhibition, College Park MD (Sept. 2012)
• 11 x 51: DC Commission on the Art & Humanities, Washington, DC (August, 2010)
• Transformer Auction Exhibitions at the Mexican Cultural Institute, Wash,. DC (2009 & 2010)
• The Nation’s Conscience, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (October, 2008)
• Quart Bag, Civilian Art Projects, Washington, DC (August, 2008)
• Intellectual Property, Meatmarket Gallery, Washington, DC ( January, 2008)
• Pass/Sculpture, Pass Gallery, Washington, DC (May-June, 2007)
• No Representation: Abstraction in the Capital, Warehouse Gallery, Wash., DC (2007)
• John A. Wilson Building Collection Inaugural Exhibition, City Hall, Wash. DC (2006)
• Remembering Mark and Komei, American University, Katzen Center for the Arts (2006)
• Plastic Memory, McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, Virginia (2004)(essay, Deborah McLoud)
• Pattern & Purpose, American Center for Physics, College Park, MD (2004)(essay, Sarah Tanguy)
• On Our Turf, Washington Artists Museum/DCAC (May, 2003) (essay, Jamie Smith)
• Rex Weil, More Art Projects You Can Do At Home, Gallery K, Washington, DC (Oct. 2002) ***
• Rex Weil, Paintings and Sculpture, Gallery K, Washington, DC (September 8-30, 2000) ***
• Corcoran Biennial Faculty Exhibitions, Corcoran Gallery of Art (2002 2000)
• Rex Weil, The Brain Wars: Paintings and Sculpture, Gallery K (Jan. 1999) ***
• Rex Weil, Mapping the Self: New Collage, Gallery K, Washington, DC (Jan., 1999) ***
• Rex Weil, Painting and Sculpture, Gallery K, Washington, DC (March, 1997) ***
• Ah! Portraiture: Faculty Self-Portraits, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Wash., DC (Sept., 1996)
• Metamorphosis, Corcoran Gallery of Art (WPA 1996, 1997 & 1998)
• Rex Weil, Clean Sweep, Gallery K, Washington, DC (May 28 - June 28, 1996) ***
• Rex Weil, Paintings, Gallery K, Washington, DC (May 30 - June 24, 1995) ***
• Works on Paper, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweet Briar, Virginia (June, 1994)
• Rex Weil, What is a Painting? (interactive installation) Maryland Art Place (April, 1994) ***
• Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition, Gallery 10, Washington, DC (April, 1994)
• Rex Weil, Dadaville Studies, District of Columbia Arts Center, Wash., DC (Oct., 1993)***
• Side by Side: Recent Work by Washington Artists, Life Skills Center, Washington, DC (May 1993) (exhibition with artists with intellectual disabilities)
• Rex Weil, Selected Works on Paper (1991-1993), Gallery K, Wash., DC (Feb., 1993) ***
• Group Exhibitions, Gallery K, Washington, DC (December, 1992, ‘93, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, 2001; June/July, 1993, ‘94, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, 2001, 2002)
• Rex Weil, Memories of Earth, Blagden Arts and Sciences, Washington, DC (1992 - 1993) ***
• Rex Weil, Hotland Studies (Recent Drawings), Emerson Gallery at McLean Project for the Arts (April, 1992)(organized & essay by Alice Thorson)***
• Works on Paper, Mahler Gallery, Washington, DC (October, 1992)
• Rex Weil, Back to Reality, Selected Paintings 1989-1991, Rockville Art Place (January, 1992) (essay by Andrea Pollan)***
• Spirit Materials, Emerson Gallery at McLean Project for the Arts (1991) (Alice Thorson; brochure)
• UR, A Kunstraum Project at Blagden Alley, Washington, DC (May, 1991) (org. by Andrea Pollan)
• Washington on the Edge: New Painters, Danville Museum, Danville Virginia (February, 1991, traveled to McLean Project for the Arts, May, 1991) (catalog)
• Rex Weil, War Rooms, Atlas Building Installation, Washington, DC (April, 1991) ***
• Enciero: Captured Spaces, International Sculpture Center at Arnold and Porter (Aug./Sept., 1990)
• Installations, Rockville Art Place, Rockville Maryland (October, 1989)
• 10 Washington Artists, McLean Project for the Arts, McLean VA (May, 1990) (brochure)
• Factions, District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington, DC (October, 1989)
• Brutal Elegance, Anton Gallery, Washington, DC (June, 1987)
• Rex Weil, Dadaville Studies, Chicago Books, New York, New York (1986) (NEA sponsored window installation) ***
• Painterly Sculpture, Gallery 10 Ltd., Washington, DC (January, 1986)
• The Washington Show, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (May 1985) (catalogue)
• All Washington Show, Washington, DC (May 1985)
• Ten Washington Artists, Gallery 10 Ltd., Wash., DC (May 1985)
• 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Washington Monument, GWU, Wash., DC (Feb., 1985)
• Rex Weil, Hotland Paintings, Gallery 10 Ltd., Washington, DC (September, 1984) ***
• Artists’ Call Exhibition at the Washington Project for the Arts, Wash., DC (Feb., 1984)
• The Ritz Hotel Exhibition, (New York Collaborative Projects and WPA) Wash., DC (April, 1983)

IV. Teaching:

University of Maryland, College Park: Theories of Art (2006-current); Contemporary Theory: Markets and Collecting (2008-current); Art, Politics and Government (2010-current); MFA Colloquium (2007/8, 2011/12, 2014/15); American University MFA Italy (Criticism and MFA Thesis Seminar) (Fall, 2005); George Mason University: Theories and Criticism (MFA and BFA program) (2005); Corcoran College of Art & Design: Contemporary Art (1999-2004) and Theories of Art (1995-2004). Virginia Commonwealth University, College of Art, MFA Program Visiting Artist and Speaker (2003); Tyler School of Art, MFA Program Visiting Artist and Lecturer (2001).

V. Selected Reviews and Articles: (reverse chronological order)

• Boyd, Mark Cameron, Second Order Readymade, Theory Now (September 19, 2014)
• Stephen May, Rex Weil: Ripography, ARTnews (September, 2012)
• Jenkins Mark, Rex Weil: Ripography, Washington Post, (April 20, 2012)
• Greenwood, Arin, Rex Weil: Ripography, The Huffington Post (March 16, 2012)
• Bigelow, Lee-Ann, Rex Weil: Ripography, exhibition brochure essay (March, 2012
• Goodman, Janis, Chicano Art and Experience, WETA-TV Around Town/Best Bets (January, 2009)
• Kozlowski, Andrew, Picturing Politics, Art Papers (November, 2008)
• Dawson, Jessica, Picturing Politics, Washington Post (August, 2008)
• Hope, Geoff, No Representation, urbancode (July, 2007)
• Harvey, Andrew, DC Artists on Permanent Display at Wilson Building (Intowner, Dec. 2006)
• O’Sullivan, Michael, Plastic Memory: The Stuff of Dreams, Washington Post (Jan. 2, 2004)
• Dawson, Jessica, Plastic Memory, Washington Post (January 6, 2004)
• Dawson, Jessica, From the Ground Up, Washington Post (May 5, 2003)
• O’Sullivan, Michael, Weekend’s Best, Washington Post (May 2, 2003)
• Cohen, Jean , Rex Weil, Gallery K, ARTnews (January, 2003)
• Smith, Casey, Rex Weil, Gallery K, ARTnews (November, 2000)
• Protzman, Ferdinand, Rex Weil: The Medium is his Message, The Wash. Post (Jan. 21,1999)
• May, Stephen, Rex Weil, Gallery K, ARTnews (March 1999)
• Wilson, Janet, Rex Weil, Gallery K, ARTnews (July, 1997)
• Protzman, Ferdinand, Rex Weil, Gallery K (Ulterior Motifs), The Wash. Post (March, 1997)
• Mills, Lee Wayne, Paintings and Sculpture by Rex Weil, Articulate (April, 1997)
• Oda, Ken, Paintings by Rex Weil, KOAN, Washington, DC (June, 1995) (critic’s pick)
• op de Beck, Nathalie, Paintings by Rex Weil, Wash. City Paper (June 23, 1995) (critic’s pick)
• Weinstein, Ann, New Exhibition at VCCA, Virginia Magazine (Summer, 1994)
• Thorson, Alice, Critical Constructions: The Art of Rex Weil, Wash. Review (Oct., 1993)
• Beck, Sharon, DADAVILLE STUDIES -- Interview with Rex Weil, published in Washington Review and the Emerging Eye (both October, 1993)
• Zinnia, Interview with Rex Weil (EyeWash, October, 1993)
• Oda, Ken, Rex Weil: Innovative Workshops for Disabled Adults, KOAN (March, 1993)
• Zinnia, Spirit/Materials, New Art Examiner (March, 1992)
• Morgan, Roberta, Weil’s Symphony of Forms, Maryland Gazette (syndicated) (January, 1992)
• Fleming, Lee, Rex Weil: Just Reality, Washington City Paper (January, 1992)
• Zinnia, Rex Weil: Back to Reality, EyeWash (January, 1992)
• Swift, Mary, Interview with Alice Thorson and Andrea Pollan, Wash. Review (Dec., 1991)
• McCoy, Mary, Spirit Materials, Washington Post (Oct. 26, 1991)
• Lewis, Jo Ann, Kunstram: Getting Physical, Washington Post (June 9, 1991)
• Thorson, Alice, CityLights feature, Washington City Paper (April 12, 1991)
• Jones, Abe, Washington on the Edge, Greensboro News and Record (January 13, 1991)
• Weinstein, Ann, Passion in Painting, Roanoke Times & World Report (February 10, 1991)
• Huff, Laura, Installations, Rockville Gazette (Oct. 18, 1989)
• Fleming, Lee, Significant Others, Washington City Paper (July 10, 1987)
• Thorson, Alice, New Talent, The Washington Times (July, 1987)
• Barbiero, Daniel, Painterly Sculpture, Washington Review (April, 1986)
• Fleming, Lee, The Washington Show, ARTnews (October, 1985)
• Swift Mary, Ten Washington Artists, Washington Review (September, 1985)
• Rubenfield, Florence, Rex Weil at Gallery 10, New Art Examiner (November, 1984)

VI. Selected Curatorial:
• Chicana Art and Experience: Mujeres con Garbo, AFL-CIO International Headquarters, Washington, DC (November, 2008 – May, 2009)
• Working Class Heroes: Workplaces and Organizing in Film, AFL-CIO International Headquarters, Washington, DC (2009-10) (at the George Meany campus of the National Labor College, 2010-14)
• Picturing Politics: Artists Speak to Power, Arlington Arts Center (August/September, 2008)
• Yuriko Yamaguchi, University of Maryland Art Gallery (September, 2007)
• Michael Platt: Just Above Water, University of Maryland Art Gallery (November, 2006)

VII. Selected Publications/Writing:

• ARTnews, Contributing Editor/Writer, June, 1994 – present [over 230 exhibition reviews and articles]
• Friday Class, Dadaville Press/FolioLink (2013) (full length book documenting art classes for artists with intellectual disabilities, with photography by Page Carr)
• Selected Exhibition Catalogs: Essays/catalogs for all the above-listed curated exhibitions and Alberto
Reguera, Junta de Castilla y León Exposición (2004) and Gallery K (2000, 2003); Cheryl Goldsleger, MOCA, Atlanta, GA (2003); Three Visions, Washington Project for the Arts (1995); The Iguana Hat, at American Psychiatric Association featuring Duane Michals, Graciela Iturbide, Melvin Edwards (1995); Too Human, American Psychiatric Association, featuring Louise Bourgeois, Lucian Freud (1994).
• Wall Street Journal, Mask II, Ron Mueck at the Hirshhorn (September 24, 2002)
• Washington City Paper, Contributing Writer (1991 - 1993)
• SPEAKEASY: Rex Weil, New Art Examiner, (October, 1991)
• Simon Gouverneur Remembered, New Art Examiner (March, 1991)
• Letter from the Hotland: Artists in World War III (EyeWash, February, 1991)
• The Washington Show: An Artist’s View, The Washington Show, Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1985)

VIII Community Arts/Presentations/Art Organizations/Benefit Exhibitions:

Coordinator and Lead Instructor, Classes for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (1993-present) (supported by the DC Commission on the Arts); Artist/Critic in Residence, University of Maryland Art Gallery (2006-07 and 2007-08); Panelist and Speaker, Drawing Dialogues, College Art Association Annual Conference, (2005); Commencement Faculty Address, Corcoran College of Art and Design, 1998, 2002, 2004; Juror, Washington Sculpture Exhibition (2005); Juror, Marks: Contemporary Drawing, Target Gallery, Alex., VA (2003-2004); Panelist and Speaker, DEAFWAY II, Galludet University, Wash., DC (2002); Presenter, School for Visual Arts, National Conference on Liberal Education and the Arts (2001, 1998); Lead Mentor and/or Mentor, Corcoran Art Mentorship Program, 1994-2000); Project Coordinator and Lead Instructor, Corcoran Summer Art and Writing Institute (2000, 2001); Lead Instructor, Corcoran College of Art & Design, Mural Project at Friendship House (Summer, 1999); Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Residency (1994); Instructor, Life Skills Center, art workshops for adults with developmental disabilities (1993-1995); Instructor, Forest Knolls Special Needs Program, workshops for children (1991-1992); Auction/Benefit exhibitions include: CCNV, 1985, Art-AIDS, 1985; Corcoran, 1985-86; WPA, 1985-86, 1995-98; New Art Examiner, 1985-92; Pyramid Atlantic, 1994; District Curators, 1994; Transformer, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2016.

IX Collections:

Private, corporate and public collections in Washington, DC, New York, London, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Seattle, Gainesville, Kansas City, San Francisco, Portland, Ithaca, and Mexico, D.F.

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