Paula Wilson

Paintings and Drawings from the Hanno Valley
24 May - 20 Jul. 2006

Installation view

The Suzy Shammah gallery presents Paintings and Drawings from the Hanno Valley, the first Italian exhibition of the American artist Paula Wilson (Chicago, 1975). The exhibition will feature a pictorial cycle depicting an imaginary land, a place where desires seem likely to come true. In these territories the topics the artist confronts herself with – cultural stereotypes, racial matters, African traditions, her biographical condition as a biracial woman – are apparently at peace. It's the Promised Land prophesised in Martin Luther King's words, a vision of a very distant future, but released from any religious connotation. In her works the world appears at times as an apocalyptic view and at the same time it evokes images of the beginnings, of an age when gods inhabited the earth. In these lands, fascinating and frightening, man is not in sight, for he hasn't reached for them yet, or maybe because he has been banished from them forever.

The paintings by Paula Wilson originate from a wide range of mediums – printmaking, drawing, oil painting and video. First, thin layers of ink on Japanese paper develop an atmospheric quality. Wood block printed elements, that can be associated with design or mass production, interact on the drawing with tri-dimensional applications, made with the technique of collage. The artist crafts every element: woodblocks are carved for just one print and cutouts are carefully painted. The different parts of the work superpose, faking the sight, puzzling the planes of reality, tracing a non-immediate path through the image.

Jacqueline's Ranch on the Eve of Kings End, 2006
woodblock print, pastel, spray paint and oil on silica flat treated Japanese paper
101 x 76 cm

The Art-work on Thoth's Shack, 2006
woodblock print, marker and oil on silica flat treated Japanese paper with woodblock printed and watercolored Japanese paper cut-outs
101 x 76 cm 

Hanno Valley's Local Archeologist and Geologist, 2006
watercolor, cardboard watercolored, paper cut-outs, spray paint and oil on silica flat treated paper
180 x 120 cm

Horizontal Tornado, 2006
ink, oil on silica flat treated paper
55 x 35 cm

Installation view