From the very beginning of his career, William T. Wiley has been a maverick. He came on the scene in the early 1960s, developing his inimitable figurative style when virtually every artist in the United States who wanted to be taken seriously was painting in the Abstract Expressionist mode. As he was gaining substantial recognition in the late '60s. Minimalism and Conceptualism were becoming the vogue. Over the ensuing decades, Wiley has remained steadfast in his pursuit of truth and humor.
Mike McGee in The Main Art Gallery of California State University catalogue: The World According 2 William T. Wiley, September 6 - October 16, 2003
William Wiley is a synthesizer. One may say that he inhabits a world, or one may say that many worlds inhabit him. He weaves a connective tissue between the thoughtful philosophical wisdom of Zen Buddhism and commentary on various sinister developments in the public arenas of politics, the environment, and global conflicts. Equipped with an array of alternative humanist philosophies that have their roots in the 1960s and 1970s, Wiley's truth-telling wisdom and musings are saturated with regional aesthetics and truthseeking political capacity. Nourished by meditation and prayer, he acknowledges the march of history, and his works are a "call out" populated by gripping images, mystical iconographies, and astute language deconstructions. Working as if channeling the spirits, he mediates on the dark mutterings of daily strife, each time mixing in a bit of bohemian ruralism. In each passing year, working from his studio in a redwood forest in Marin County, north of San Francisco, he becomes more entrenched against the rapid development of California's green space.
Betti-Sue Hertz, "Recent Paintings by William Wiley: Place is the inquiry, Words are the commentary" in The Main Art Gallery of California State University catalogue:The World According 2 William T. Wiley, September 6 - October 16, 2003