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PAUL VILLINSKI ||| Louisiana Children's Museum

PAUL VILLINSKI ||| Tulane University Business School

PAUL VILLINSKI ||| Artist Interview ||| Reprise

PAUL VILLINSKI ||| Artist Profile


A kind of conceptual unity develops between materials, process and imagery: my practice in the studio mimics the act of transformation that butterflies symbolize everywhere, in all cultures.



[New York, NY ::: b. 1960 - York, ME]

PAUL VILLINSKI has created studio and large-scale artworks for more than three decades. Villinski was born in York, Maine, USA, in 1960, son of an Air Force navigator. He has lived and worked in New York City since 1982. A scenic route through the educational system included stops at Phillips Exeter Academy and the Massachusetts College of Art, and a BFA with honors from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1984. He lives with his partner, the painter Amy Park, and their son, Lark, in their studios in Long Island City, NY.


His work has been included in numerous exhibitions nationally. A mid-career retrospective, “Farther,” is currently on view at The Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, VA, through July, 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include “Paul Villinski: Burst” at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, TX and “Passage: A Special Installation,” at the Blanton Museum, University of Texas, Austin. Recent group shows include “Material Transformations” at the Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, AL; “Re: Collection,” at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; “Making Mends,” at the Bellevue Museum of Arts, Bellevue, WA; and “Prospect .1,” an international Biennial in New Orleans, LA. “Emergency Response Studio,” a FEMA trailer transformed into an off-the-grid mobile artist’s studio, was the subject of a solo exhibition at Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, TX; the exhibition also travelled to Ballroom Marfa, in Marfa, TX; Wesleyan University’s Zilkha Gallery, Middletown, CT; and the trailer was featured in the New Museum’s “Festival of Ideas for the New City”, in New York, NY.

A pilot of sailplanes, paragliders and single-engine airplanes, metaphors of flight and soaring often appear in his work. With a lifelong concern for environmental issues, his work frequently re-purposes discarded materials, effecting surprising and poetic transformations.



Villinski’s work is widely collected, including major public works created by commission. “SkyCycles,” three full-scale “flying bicycles” was installed at “Ocean Breeze,” a new Parks and Recreation Track and Field facility, through the New York City Percent for Art Program. The City of New Haven Percent for Art Program commissioned “Dreamdesk,” a flying school desk with 18’ wingspan which was installed at the entrance to the East Rock Magnet School in 2014. Permanent collections include the National Soaring Museum, Elmira, NY; the Museum of Arts and Design, NY; the New Orleans Museum of Art, LA; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA; Miami International Airport; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL; and the University of Michigan Mott Children’s and Von Voitlander Women’s Hospital, Ann Arbor, MI. Corporate collections include Fidelity Investments; Microsoft; Progressive Insurance; the Cleveland Clinic; ADP; McCann Erickson International; New York Life; Ritz-Carlton and many others. He has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Serenbe Institute, GA; Socrates Sculpture Park, NY; the Millay Colony, NY; the Ucross Foundation, WY; the Djerassi Foundation, CA; and the Villa Montalvo Arts Center, CA. He is represented in New York by Morgan Lehman Gallery; in New Orleans by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery; in Jackson Hole, Wyoming by Tayloe Piggot Gallery; and in Palm Desert, California, by Austin Art Projects.


His work has frequently been reviewed in periodicals including ARTnews; Artforum; Art in America; Sculpture; Interior Design; Design Bureau; New York Magazine; ID; The New York Times; Wall Street Journal; Los Angeles Times; Washington Post; Houston Chronicle; International Herald Tribune; Village Voice; Seattle Times; New Haven Register; Toronto Star; Times-Picayune and many others. A monograph on the artist’s work will be published by Vivant Books in November, 2018.




I have a relationship with Sure We Can, a reclamation center started and staffed by homeless "Canners" in Bushwick, Brooklyn.  All the aluminum cans have come from them for last several years. We had to convince the canners to collect the crushed cans, as these cans can't be redeemed for deposit and are truly worthless. I pay the canners more than the going rate for the cans, and have donated an installation which is installed in the facility. The future of Sure We Can is in jeopardy as the lot it's on is for sale.

Curriculum Vitae

Curriculum Vitae

1984        BFA, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY
                Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
1974-76    Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH

3-D Construction / 3-D Laboratory, New York, NY
21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, KY
ADP Corporation, Chicago, IL
The Alexander Hotel, Indianapolis, IN (commission)
Axinn, Veltrop, & Harkrider, Attorneys, New York, NY (commission)
Barrasso Usdin Kupperman Freeman & Sarver, Attorneys, New Orleans, LA
Brooklyn Union Gas Company, Brooklyn, NY
Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV (commission)
Centre Reinsurance, New York, NY
Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, Attorneys, New York, NY
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
Dr. Carl Djerassi, San Francisco, CA, (Founder, Djerassi Foundation Resident  Artists Program)
El Encanto Hotel, Santa Barbara, CA
Fidelity Investments, New York, NY
FBS / Gulf States Toyota, Houston, TX (commission)
Paul and Elizabeth Giamatti, Brooklyn, NY
John A. Levin Company, New York, NY
Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, Attorneys, Washington, DC
McCann Erickson International, New York, NY (commission)
McKenna, Long & Aldridge, Attorneys, Washington, DC (commission)
Microsoft, Fargo, ND
Mound, Cotton & Wollan, Attorneys, New York, NY
New York Life Insurance Company, Parsippany, NJ (commission)
Nomura Securities International, New York, NY
Nu Skin, Provo, UT
Progressive Insurance, Cleveland, OH
The Ritz-Carlton Highlands, Lake Tahoe, Truckee, CA (commission)
Rogers Family Office, Oakland, CA (commission)
Sawmill Capital, White Plains, NY (commission)
Second Line Studios, New Orleans (commission)
Linda Grey Sexton, Atherton, CA (commission)
Tommy Hilfiger, New York, NY and Paris, France (commissions)
Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz, Westport, CT (of Talking Heads)
Waters Design, New York, NY
Michelle Williams, Brooklyn, NY

2017        Artist-in-Residence, Serenbe Institute, Chattahoochee Hills, GA
2012        Artist-in-Residence, Serenbe Institute, Chattahoochee Hills, GA
2009        Artist-in-Residence, Serenbe Institute, Chattahoochee Hills, GA
2008        Artist-in-Residence, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY
1992        Artist-in-Residence, Ucross Foundation, Ucross, WY
1991        Artist-in-Residence, Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts, Saratoga, CA
1988        Agnes Bourne Fellowship in Painting, Djerassi Foundation Resident Artists Program,
               Woodside, CA
1987        National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grant
               Artist-in-Residence, Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY
1984        Michael S. Vivo Prize for Excellence in Drawing, The Cooper Union, New York, NY
1982        David Berger Award for Excellence, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA


2018        Reprise, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2017-18   Father, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA (upcoming)
2016        Beyond, Tayloe Piggot Gallery, Jackson Hole, WY
2015        Departure, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
               Volta 11 Art Fair, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, Basel, Switzerland 
2014        Paradigm, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY
               Burst (Special Exhibition), McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX
2012        Alight, Tayloe Piggott Gallery, Jackson Hole, WY
                Passage (Special Installation) The Blanton Museum, University of Texas, Austin
2011        Passage, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY (catalog)
2010        Glidepath, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
2009        Emergency Response Studio, Rice University Gallery, Houston, TX (catalog);
                Also traveled to Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; The Long Center for the Performing Arts,
                Austin, TX;
                and Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
                Pulse Art Fair, Miami, FL, exhibited by Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY
2007        Air Chair, Hillwood Art Museum, Long Island University, CW Post Campus, Brookville,
                Janet Nolan and Paul Villinski, Art-O-Mat, Long Island City, NY
                Metamorphosis, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY
2006        Airlift, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA
                Portent, Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto, Canada
                Wishful Thinking, Scope New York Art Fair, exhibited by Morgan Lehman Gallery
                Aloft, Gallery 138, New York, NY