Storm Over the City: Richard Wilson
January 19 – May 3, 2024
Encompassing paintings, drawings, watercolor and prints, Richard Wilson’s exhibition Storm Over The City features selected works from 1978 to the present. Wilson offers glimpses into the human condition, with all its inherent challenges, vices and contradictions. There is a theatricality in the artist’s imagined environments—some are inhabited by a comedic cast of characters—while in other works sexually charged figures unite en masse.
Dark humor permeates a number of Wilson’s meticulously rendered graphite drawings. The artist depicts anthropomorphic creatures engaging in mischief and sometimes inflicting pain on the human subjects. For instance, in The Cauldron, a froglike woman-creature has turned a man upside down in a painful wrestling hold while in Success, horned devils are forcing people to tend a fire. In other works, like Dysfunctional Friends, Wilson’s subjects are consumed with their own self-inflicted buffoonery. Despite the desperate conditions facing Wilson’s uncanny characters, the collective absurdity of the scenes elicit a humorous response.
However, there is a sense of looming peril in Wilson’s recent paintings. Questions are posed such as: what is lurking beneath the expanse of blue waters in which two tiny figures swim in opposite directions? At what point does the outdoor adventure seeker realize that his canoe will soon crash over a rushing waterfall? These paintings convey the vulnerability of humans when facing the vastness, mystery and power of nature.
Left: RICHARD WILSON (American, born 1947). Running Man, 1989. Gouache on paper. Courtesy of the artist.
Right: RICHARD WILSON (American, born 1947). A Moment, 2021. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.