Willie Cole (b. 1955 in Somerville, New Jersey) lives and works in New Jersey.
His work has been the subject of several one-person museum exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998), Bronx Museum of the Arts (2001), Miami Art Museum (2001), Tampa Museum of Art (2004), University of Wyoming Art Museum (2006), Montclair Art Museum (2006), College of Wooster Art Museum (2013-14), and David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland (2016).
In 2010, a survey exhibition of his work on paper (1975-2010) took place at the James Gallery of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and later travelled to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art at the University of Alabama and the Rowan University Art Gallery in Glassboro, NJ.
Several of his sculptures were included in “Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents” at the Metropolitan Museum of Artin New York (2011). In January 2013, a traveling exhibition “Complex Conversations: Willie Cole Sculptures and Wall Works” opened at Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.
In 2015, Cole’s work was included in both the exhibition “Represent: 200 Years of African American Art”at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and “Wild Noise: Artwork from the Bronx Museum of the Arts” at El Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana. In 2016, his work was included in “Disguise: Masks and Global African Art” at the Brooklyn Museum.
In 2016, the exhibition “Willie Cole: On-Site” opened at the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland and traveled to the Museum of Art at the University of New Hampshire, and Arthur Ross Gallery, Philadelphia.