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Jane Wilson: Recent Paintings
November 12 – December 23, 2009
DC Moore Gallery is pleased to announce the November 12th opening of Jane Wilson: Recent Paintings. The exhibition comprises landscapes painted in the last two years. A full-color catalogue, with an essay by Stephen Westfall, accompanies the exhibition.
In her recent work, Wilson focuses on seasons of the year, times of day, and moods of the weather inspired, for the most part, by the sky, sea, and land of the East End of Long Island. Wilson directs her energies to making the most ephemeral phenomena visible, capturing the effects of shimmering light, heavy air, oncoming night, and passing thunderstorms. Westfall contends that Wilson is painting “at the height of her powers,” creating sky paintings that are “a perfect synthesis of abstraction and representation, field and tactile subject, the general and particular, process and memory.” Westfall observes, “Of all the painters who’ve painted wonderful skies (Tiepolo! Poussin!) very few have ever imparted such a visceral sense of the sky’s endlessly unfolding spatial theater.”
Wilson has been exhibiting steadily since 1953, when she was a founding member of the legendary Hansa Gallery on East 12th Street in New York City. At that time, she was working in an abstract expressionist mode, creating dynamic canvases that resonated with the energy of a defining moment in postwar American art. Currently, her work hovers between the tangible and the abstract. Paintings like Drifting Sunshower and Clearing Sky are luminous evocations that are nearly total renunciations of events other than events of the sky. They could just as easily be taken for abstract fields of pattern and color, yet the barest rudiments of land and sea, narrow bands at bottom that dissolve into the textures of light and clouds, create low horizons that are junctures of earth and sky. As Wilson has said, “For me it was all about the substance of things without substance.”
Complementing the exhibition, Jane Wilson: Horizons, the first comprehensive monograph documenting Wilson’s career, is available at the gallery and through Merrell Publishers, London. The publication celebrates Wilson’s sixty-year career, from her immersion in the vibrant New York art world of the 1950s and 1960s to her current approach to painting. The book is lavishly illustrated with over ninety paintings and features an illuminating essay by Elisabeth Sussman, Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as an interview with the artist by Justin Spring. This beautiful publication is an exceptional tribute to Wilson and her many contributions to modern American painting.
Wilson has received many honors and widespread recognition for her work, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. Her paintings are included in the collections of major museums across the country, including the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California.