Adam Wohlwend is a U.S. sculptor who creates interactive mobile units that emphasize the importance of the art viewer’s role in the art world.
As a first generation college graduate, Wohlwend embodies both a blue-collar, Mid-Western work ethic, and a formal education in the arts. He completed a BFA from the University of Iowa, and an MFA in the sculpture program at the University of New Mexico. These two contrasting aspects of the artist’s life place Wohlwend in the unique position to consider widening the scope of audience in terms of contemporary art. Wohlwend was raised in an industrial urban area on the Eastern border of Iowa by a family of tradespeople who approach life with a do-it-yourself mindset.
“I come from a family who takes art at face value. Meaning, I grew up looking at art for its beauty as apposed to its intellectual or philosophical significance. For people like myself, contemporary art could be off-putting or anger inducing because I didn’t understand what I was looking at. I’ve come to find out that contemporary art’s main goal is not necessarily to evoke instant understanding, but to provoke processes in investigation; That of which we all come naturally equipped to take part in.”
In 2015, Adam Wohlwend began a series of mobile sculptural units made for the act of viewing other people’s artwork. New Mexico’s 1% for the Arts, Aha Festival for Progressive Arts, Santa Fe, NM and The Paseo, 2015, Taos, NM, funded these interactive objects called Mobile Event Viewing Apparatuses. Each unique viewing apparatus gave the art viewer the ability to get inside and move freely throughout the location in order to view other artists’ work, event happenings/ amenities, and social structures. Wohlwend’s apparatuses can be taken at face value as children and adults alike approach them for their colorful and playful utility and structure. Conceptually, each viewing apparatus is made to highlight the role of the people who are viewing art by making the act of looking and interacting literal art objects in themselves.