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55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642

Laura Sharp Wilson
Conversation with the Ground

February 21 - March 29, 2020

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Laura Sharp Wilsonís visual language has long been derived from the world of decorative arts, particularly by patterns and motifs in textiles, porcelain, and jewelry, as well as the actions of sewing and weaving. Drawing from these sources and working in acrylic on mulberry paper mounted on wood panels, Wilsonís paintings are both densely composed and precisely rendered.
Much of this new body of work explores the intimate connections humans make with the earth beneath their feet. Botanical imagery predominates, and the artistís palette has become more naturalistic than in earlier work. Additionally, gold and silver grounds appear in several paintings, representing material mined from the earth as well as opulence and wealth. Throughout, disparate forms are intertwined, linked, pulled, and bound by threads, fabric strands, cords, ribbons, knots, ropes, wires, and chains. Nature, apparently threatened, cossetted, and ensnared, nevertheless remains effulgent, chaotic, and ultimately triumphant. In Is Everything Bound (Moab), the environmental degradation of mining is referenced: flowers bloom black and the earth is lowered into a radioactive pit, while in Dirt Bomb, floral forms ultimately triumph over their entanglements. Our intimate, sometimes uneasy relationship to the natural world is explored in Bound Stand In, where a shadowy form both human and plant-like is tethered and entangled by a spiraling mass of gold cords. The ravages of war and human loss are referenced in several paintings with a motif of dog tags, rendered translucent and spewed from the earth, dangling from Palampore textile knots, or buried underground, as in Bunting and Dog Tags in the Garden. At once elegiac and exultant, vivid blue plants inspired by motifs found in flow blue Chinese porcelain and draped with sheer bunting, are set against a field of gold and burst skyward from a ground filled with the reminders of fallen soldiers. In Let it Grow in the Sky, earth is trapped by a chain but nature endures as schematized floral forms emerge through varying strata, reaching into the open air above.
Laura Sharp Wilson (b. 1965, San Juan, P.R.) was raised in New Jersey and received her MFA at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been exhibiting her work in galleries and museums nationally and internationally since the mid-1990s, and has been reviewed in Hyperallergic and The Los Angeles Times, among others. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642