William Wylie’s meditations on Pompeii in The Possibility of Ruins liken the photographic medium to this ancient, yet evolving location, “The site of Pompeii functions much like a photograph, by freezing an instant from the past and carrying a representation of it into the present.” Wylie’s photo series documents the index of “physical traces of past experiences” in a place that has endured centuries of development, excavations and restorations–not to mention the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. His photos acknowledge a spatial awareness of Historical means, as they recognize each stage of the multiple pasts and peoples that inhabited these areas.

William Wylie is a Professor of Art and the Director of the Studio Art Program at the University of Virginia. He received his BFA from Colorado State University in 1986, and went on to earn an MFA at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Wylie is a multi-media artist whose photographs, short films and works on paper have been exhibited nationally and internationally over the last three decades. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, and Yale University Art Museum, among others. His awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a VMFA Professional Fellowship and the Yale Gallery of Art’s Doran / LeWitt Fellowship in 2012 and 2014.