May 8, 2008

Yau on Helen Miranda Wilson

In The Brooklyn Rail, John Yau suggests that Helen Miranda Wilson, whose show at DC Moore recently closed, has moved beyond the Americana references of her earlier abstract paintings, and, in the process, achieved something quite radical. "For just when nearly everyone thought that nothing more could be done with stripes laid down, one after another, and that various practitioners seemed determined to nudge geometric abstraction into a state of deep hibernation that I would characterize as minute variations on non-spatial stasis, Helen Miranda Wilson lets us know that we might have gotten it all wrong. As Wilson’s recent luminous paintings make clear, geometric painting doesn’t have to be large, static, non-spatial, and hard-edged. It doesn’t have to evoke the spiritual, continue the paradigm of paint-as-paint, or be painterly. It can do something altogether different: it can be intimately scaled, personal and impersonal, optically raucous and bitingly colorful. It can even be dizzying, as if you are standing on a high-speed whirligig, and the world is a bunch of feathery-edged bands of color flying by. And the colors glow, seemingly both solid and transparent....In these paintings Wilson moves into a territory that is all her own. The paintings are color sensations in which a complex range of feelings and possible readings are evoked. It used to be, or so some people claim, that when a painter did something new and different, others would notice it. Except in the case of very few artists, this hasn’t been the case in years. Wilson doesn’t care, and that is to her credit. She has persistently gone her own way for nearly forty years, and never made a single concession to the marketplace or to stylistic trends. That, to me, is heroic." Read more.

2 comments:

They are lovely paintings.

Yes, I took people to see her calendar paintings, dry and feathery color so thin it was barely there and so vibrant I have been coveting ever since.