Jane Wilson's unique, 40-year exploration of natural phenomena
- the surface of the sea, the sun and the sky - results in works of art that refuse to be
categorized merely as landscape painting. The colors Wilson finds are
fantastic; she unearths them on her innumerable forays into the
ever-changing surface of the natural world. Her obsessive layering of wet paint over dry
makes physically palpable an atmos-phere inspired by the meteorological
conditions observed in the environs of her Water Mill studio and suffuses
the canvas with a muted glow that calls to mind Giorgio Morandi and Mark
Born in 1924 and raised in Iowa, where the broad, flat landscape would leave an indelible mark on her vision, Wilson came to New York City in 1949. Like many in her generation, such as Jane Freilicher, Roy Lichtenstein, and Joan Mitchell, she was strongly influenced by Abstract Expressionism. In the mid 1950s, she began to move away from gesturally painted landscapes, and by the mid 1970s, turned to the muted, layered harmonies that continue to give life to her work today. When she starts a painting, it is not with a meticulously observed landscape moment but rather with an instinct about a combination of weather, light and season. Wilson prefers to find her drama in the ordinary. She builds her paintings, layer upon layer, until their hushed radiance is full. Seemingly, as slowly as the buildup of her paint, Wilson's independent vision has become more and more acclaimed.
Jane Wilson Paintings: 1985-1995 was curated by Klaus Kertess, a noted authority on contemporary art, who has served since 1989 as Adjunct Curator of Drawings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and was accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with an essay by Mr. Kertess.
This exhibition was made possible, in part, with generous support from Helene and Whitney Stevens, Theodore and Elizabeth Rogers, Penny and David McCall, an Anonymous Donor, Annaliese Soros, the William T. Kemper Foundation, and through The Exhibition Fund.