John Davis began showing the work of La Wilson in 1983 in Akron, Ohio and continued with Ms. Wilson when his gallery moved to New York City. Including the 2004 retrospective that Mr. Davis curated, La Wilson Altered Objects (at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College), this upcoming show will be the 13th exhibition of Ms. Wilson's work that the artist and dealer have presented together. It will also mark Ms. Wilson's sixth exhibition in Hudson, New York, (the first, having been recognized and reviewed in The New York Times). She visits Hudson, New York from Hudson, Ohio where she lives and works and she has shown extensively in the mid-west and New York City.
"Containment, concealment, and privacy have been recurring themes in my work. My interpretation of reliquary is not to hold a sacred object or relic, but to engage the viewer with the form and tension of the unknown interior. The adornment of these objects relates to architectural details and the idea of facade. Facade is what we are presented with upon first appearance, whether speaking of people or architecture, and it isn't until we look inside that we discover the true structure.
This body of work developed from a series I began while in residence in Switzerland. During my time spent there I was drawn to the architecture and also to Swiss social and political ideals. All of these observations have found their way into this series of sculpture. The Reliquary series is a new body of work that has many influences both reoccurring and new. During my stay in Switzerland I had limited time, which had me adjust my process in the studio. It forced me to adopt a very candid approach, and react to the sculpture during the process of making. The continuation of the series over the last year has seen an increase in scale and a subtle refinement in the elements of composition. Being back in my studio has afforded me more time to reflect on the form and content of these larger sculptures."
"I became aware of the reflection of my body in a tree in 1983. It had a tilt in its torso just like mine. In time and scale it differed. But I felt deeply connected. Because the tree was very large and relatively still I could read it by a long, long stare. Because it had occurred again and again in similar form through these centuries and appears just now in my back field I can count on the fact of its existence.
This installation came about from the combination of seeing John Davis' amazing horse/carriage elevator shaft and a wondrous enormous hunk of a tree that I have kept for 5 years. By hanging the 15 ft tree between three floors, it can be seen by looking up, and, it will be seen from three levels if one climbs the stairs to the floors above. I have cut the tree vertically into five parts. These strips are similar to the basic segmented construction of all trees which can be seen most clearly when they are in early growth, or when struck by lightning, or in late decay. This tree was in none of those states when it was taken down in full health. It was too tall. It threatened a house. It was cut down. The five vertical parts I have hung slightly apart . I want to see inside this tree. I want it to be transparent to me, despite its solidity. I want to experience the precariousness of its existence as I experience its absolute undefeatability. I want to know it is itself."
"Drawing for me has always been the place I go to, to begin again. I am not conditioned by the piece I have just completed. I am not controlled by my latest angle of vision. The drawing experience is the one place where I feel close to complete freedom in my life. When drawing we can redefine where we put our gaze. Each one of us are lighthouses of a sort lighting up different areas in the dark. When we are students in art school and seen as changing our vision month to month, we are often seen as being unfocused. But looking back I also see that change has always been the main measure of the breadth of our creativity and flexibility. Lately my own drawings took me to a more vulnerable personal place than I was used too. I went there because, when drawing, I could clearly feel the necessity of doing it that particular way despite the conditioning of what could be a disapproving art world that surrounds us all. A world that right now does not think much of vulnerability. I guess drawing is a place where we can redefine ourselves over and over again."
Lewczuk's drawings offer a glimpse into how the paintings are made. Her colors are vibrant and pulsating, ranging from florescent greens to striking blues, luscious hot reds and fuchsia's with a sprinkle of rich earthly tones. Her travels to exotic lands such as Timbuktu, Bamako, Tunisia, Mexico, Mali & Dogon in West Africa influence the rhythms, colors and mark making in her drawings and paintings. The surroundings of rich textiles, pottery, ruins, ancient carvings all seep into the work; her tribal motifs are painted freehand onto large white linens in lush colors resulting in geometric patterns that twist and bend the planes of space. Roberta Smith says, "Her interlacing, overlapping forms, for the most part organized in grids and other quadrilateral arrangements, balance with distinctive awkwardness between organic and geometric, their boisterous scale held in check by taut layering. The resulting flatness is nearly concave; the shapes seem carved, or maybe nailed down, like abstract animal skins. The resulting tension has a pulsating energy that is visionary..."
Margrit Lewczuk, 2011
New Hesitation Blues
"I got my hesitation feet in my hesitation shoes,Believe to my soul I got the Hesitation Blues.
This exhibition is an attempt to address some of the more obscured aspects of my studio over the past several years (and on to the present day). It was, and is, obscurity born of circumstance, a place where necessity and imagination played themselves out into something beyond my control. Most of the paintings did start out with a prevailing idea, or ideal, which quickly dissolved before my eyes and lead to the works you now see.
The aim is not to make any single statement, or to fit the work into neatly defined genres or categories. Many traditions were followed, some going back hundreds of years, while others were conjured in a moment's notice. It's all mashed together: landscape and figuration next to pattern and shape, mysterious invocations next to alphabetic text. Through it all, though, is the desire to follow where the work leads me. And so I'm left asking, like the voice of old Sam Collins crackling through the atmosphere:
Tell me, how long do I have to wait?
Can I get you now, or must I hesitate?"
Craig Olson, 2011
"I grew up on a small farm in the Midwest. There is a quiet tempo there that fundamentally shapes how I understand life. This is where my mind's eye lingers when I begin to paint, when I take a piece of the known world and follow it into uncertainty.Liv Aanrud, 2011
A form emerges underneath the painted surface in a tug of war where size often yields to intent. I like modest might, self conscious usurpations, when a painting captures the moment right before authority is asserted. In these curious events I search for something familiar, and sincere, diffident but determined. These are pictures of the natural, or rather, how the natural might be created."