Photo Credit Judy Cooper

Photo Credit Judy Cooper

Nancy Wilson-Pajic


“My work is concerned with the processes by which information accumulates and is transformed: by juxtaposition with other information, by memory, and by the individual’s order of priorities. I have used sound recordings and written text, video and film, photographs, drawings and computer print-outs — in installations, in book form and, more rarely, on the wall — to create mental spaces within which creative reflection may take place.”

While the 70s saw an increased presence in non traditional media and forms of expression, conceptualist artist Nancy Wilson-Pajic nevertheless found herself on its fringes. Her ambition and conceptual approach fit with the spirit of the time, yet she often found difficulty advancing her career due to a desire to make work relevant to her own experiences as a woman. This isolation however only further empowered her to make work true to her own vision. Thus, free of conventional restraints, Wilson-Pajic’s work evolved into a practice of building narratives from found objects, sound installations, photography, and other media, a significant aesthetic and political statement at the time. In works such as “Dear John” and “My Grandmother’s Gestures” Wilson-Pajic takes personal experiences and contrasts them with societal expectations, placing the often unquestioned conventions of everyday life in stark relief. Wilson-Pajic allowed narrative and conceptual work to coexist, at a time when the two were thought to be mutually exclusive. Her influence has played a significant part in remaking the art world into one that permits a genuine interest in and respect for women’s subjectivities.

Born in 1941 in Peru Indiana, Wilson-Pajic studied art, psychology, and literature at Cooper Union, where she would receive her BFA. Her involvement with A.I.R. as a founding member was one of the first in a series of decisions designed to create alternative spaces for women artists not yet accepted by the mainstream. From 1974 on she became more invested in the international arts community and would eventually move to Paris in 1979. While in France, she focused her attention on photography and would go on to make influential works as a contemporary photographer, transforming the art form by looking at it through a critical feminist lens. She has gained wide acclaim for her work and is represented in museums and galleries across the world, including the the French National Collection, the Museum of National Art in Paris, and the Moscow House of Photography.

Where to Find Her Work:

French National Collection

Museum of National Art, Paris 

Artphelein Foundation, Monte Carlo

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston