William Wilson

And Endlessly, I Create Myself: William Adjété Wilson and The Black Ocean

Hours: Tuesday - 1 to 5 PM  | Wednesday - 1 to 4 PM | Thursday - 4 to 8 PM

William Adjété Wilson is a French-Togolese artist whose work imaginatively refashions classic techniques and materials used by African artisans. His often-colorful visual narratives, informed by individual biographies, family stories and collective histories, present a provocative critique of complicated encounters between Africa and Europe over the last 500 years.

Born in France, Wilson had little knowledge of his Togolese father’s family until he traveled through the Gulf of Guinea as a young man. Though trained as a philosopher and anthropologist, this journey inspired him to pursue an artistic practice. His work has been shown throughout Africa, Europe, the U.S. and Brazil.

Wilson’s intellectual interests continue to inform his creative work, which both celebrates and interrogates the often untold stories of the African continent. Black Ocean, a collaboration between Wilson and a workshop of artisans in the Republic of Benin, is a series of powerful appliqué textiles which bear witness to the richness of West African cultures and the complex histories that weave together people of Africa, Europe and the Americas.  Through this important work, Wilson places himself intellectually and spiritually in conversation with his European and African ancestors.

Gallery Montage

Our Gallery

GalleryDAAS supports the mission of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) by exhibiting emerging and established artists from throughout the African Diaspora. Working with artists, curators and art historians as well as DAAS/U-M faculty, the gallery is a catalyst for acknowledging the work of original art by artists of Africa and its diaspora, not only through our exhibitions, but by hosting artist residencies and visits, and encouraging unique teaching opportunities for both DAAS and the broader U-M community.

GallerDAAS is administered by the DAAS Exhibitions Committee and typically has two to three exhibitions during the regular school year (Fall/Winter). For more information, please contact V. Robin Grice at