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Laura Sharp Wilson
March 30 - May 4, 2014



Interconnected abstract and naturalistic forms weave, tug, bind and undulate throughout Laura Sharp Wilsonís detailed paintings in her fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. She combines intricate patterns, flattened areas of color and fantastical botanic forms to emphasize the tension between confusion and clarity. Her idiosyncratic compositions address both intimate personal details of her life and universal social and environmental concerns.
 
Wilson creates her sharply rendered acrylic paintings on Japanese paper mounted to wood panels. The fibrous texture of the paper becomes a visual element upon which she layers shapes and motifs inspired by abstraction, textile design, knot formations, and the natural world. Wilson cites influences ranging from 18th-century Indian bed-curtains and the Constructivist textile designs of Varvara Stepanova to the work of Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, and Chris Ofili. Using components of her visual language, Wilson incrementally builds each painting until a wonderful density is reached. The space within the work is both complex and compressed. In front of curiously colored backgrounds and obsessively minute patterns, segmented stalks support patterned bulbs in the midst of wild coiling vines and looping barbs. The completed works reflect the inherent tensions among her influences: abstraction represents nothing, yet encompasses everything; nature has been disempowered, yet always overcomes; strands and fibers can be tangled, but also clearly ordered.
 
The subjects of Wilsonís paintings come variously from her personal history, her inner processes, and humanityís relationship with the natural world. Copper, a painting with striated tassel forms suspended among rocky outcrops, represents the Rio Tinto Bingham Mine. This open pit mine is the largest in the world and prominently visible in the Salt Lake valley, near where Wilson has lived for several years. The centrally radiating composition of Lou Mandala with Cady Underneath was originally inspired by the target paintings of Kenneth Noland, but transformed into an ode to the recently-deceased Lou Reed. In Stew, Fuss and Whine Assembly Line, the artist expresses her own personal tendency to obsessively mull over lifeís minutiae, while in The Most Radical Thing You Can Do, Wilson celebrates the slow, methodical, but generous activity of complex art making.
 
  Laura Sharp Wilson, Copper
Copper, 2013
Acrylic and graphite with collage on mulberry paper mounted on wood
16 x 23 1/2 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Lou Mandala with Cady Underneath
Lou Mandala with Cady Underneath, 2013
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
18 x 17 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Tank
Tank, 2013
Acrylic and graphite with collage on Unryu paper mounted on wood
15 3/4 x 29 1/2 inches
  Laura Sharp Wilson, Road to Spiral Jetty
Road to Spiral Jetty, 2013
Acrylic and graphite on mulberry paper mounted on wood
18 1/4 x 18 1/4 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, High Desert Mountain Town
High Desert Mountain Town, 2012
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
24 x 14 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, The Most Radical Thing You Can Do
The Most Radical Thing You Can Do, 2013
Acrylic and graphite on with collage on Unryu paper mounted on wood
22 x 22 inches
  Laura Sharp Wilson, 1996
1996, 2014
Acrylic and graphite with collage on silk paper mounted on wood
32 x 24 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Stew, Fuss and Whine Assembly Line
Stew, Fuss and Whine Assembly Line, 2013
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
21 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Strapped
Strapped, 2014
Acrylic and graphite with collage on Unryu paper mounted on wood
24 x 18 inches
  Laura Sharp Wilson, Four Medals
Four Medals, 2014
Acrylic and graphite with collage on Unryu paper mounted on wood
16 x 23 1/2 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, The Obscure
The Obscure, 2014
Acrylic and graphite with collage on silk and Unryu paper mounted on wood
32 x 24 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Too Much Talking
Too Much Talking, 2014
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
15 3/4 x 29 1/2 inches
  Laura Sharp Wilson, Harnessed Loop
Harnessed Loop, 2014
Acrylic and graphite on mulberry paper mounted on wood
12 x 9 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Bottom of the Barrel
Bottom of the Barrel, 2014
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
7 1/2 x 23 3/4 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Work Hard Typewriter
Work Hard Typewriter, 2014
Acrylic and graphite with collage on mulberry and Unryu paper mounted on wood
13 x 10 inches
  Laura Sharp Wilson, Wormwood Pattern
Wormwood Pattern, 2014
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
12 x 9 inches
Laura Sharp Wilson, Laced Tower
Laced Tower, 2014
Acrylic and graphite on Unryu paper mounted on wood
23 3/4 x 7 1/4 inches
  Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 1
Installation view
Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 2
Installation view
Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 3
Installation view
  Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 5
Installation view
Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 6
Installation view
Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 7
Installation view
  Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 8
Installation view
Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 10
Installation view
Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 11
Installation view
  Laura Sharp Wilson, 2014 installation 12
Installation view
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