Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: Jane Wilson Horizons

By Sandy Amazeen Oct 23, 2009, 6:27 GMT

Book Review: Jane Wilson Horizons

Jane Wilson: Horizons is the first comprehensive monograph on the American artist, celebrating her sixty-year career - from her immersion in the vibrant New York art world of the 1950s and 1960s to her current work - which has brought her recognition as one of the leading landscape painters of our time. Wilson\'s recent paintings are luminous landscapes that hover between abstraction and representation, inspired by the ...more

With a career spanning sixty years, Jane Wilson has amassed an enormous body of work ranging from abstracts to still lifes but it is her landscapes for which she is best known. Often the subject matter appears deceptively simple until the viewer begins taking in the subtle mastery of color, scope and scale that conjures an evocative, sometimes melancholy, often jubilant feel. Born in 1924 and raised on farms in southern Iowa, Wilsonís painting grew to encompass the sweeping vistas of her childhood in a melding of Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism.

Elizabeth Sussman, Curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art provides a warm biography of Wilsonís life and those events and artists who influenced her work to the present day. Ralph Sessions picks up Wilsonís career immediately after she moved to New York with her husband, John Gruen including several excellent photographs. In order to support her painting, Wilson took up modeling where she quickly made a name for herself. While other artists tended to look down on her, Wilsonís modeling dovetailed with her painting and soon brought invitations to art exhibitions where the rest, as they say, is history.

Beautiful full color reproductions of Wilsonís work range from Orbit painted in 1951 to Hurricane Silence completed in 2008. This stunning volume concludes with a personal interview conducted by Justin Spring and a comprehensive illustrated chronology. For those unfamiliar with Wilsonís broad style, this volume provides a thorough introduction while including enough insights to satisfy her many admirers.


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