Mary, Blinky, Jessica, Yay!: A Solo Show by Jessica Wilson

3 May - 24 June 2017



Mary, Blinky, Jessica, Yay! is a FANTASY exhibition based upon the exhibition titled ‘Mary, Blinky, Yay!’ that took place at Kunstmuseum Bonn in 2013 and showed the work of Heilmann and Palermo together. In this fantasy exhibition Wilson’s work is shown beside Heilmann and Palermo. The exhibition, like Wilson’s paintings, bring together a certain sense of cheekiness, an intelligent comment and a painterly, often almost nostalgic history.


Mary Heilmann, Blinky Palermo and Jessica Wilson take what is familiar and re-present it with a sly twist so that you look at it anew. There is an openness to pleasure and the imagination. At moments, seeing is like listening to music. A good painting makes you really examine a moment, because the moment could go on forever. Music is what happens in the space between sounds. It can flow into paint.


Wilson’s tête-à-tête with the paintings and wall objects of Mary Heilmann and Blinky Palermo has been inspired by a speculation about finding a related sensibility and a comparative proficiency vis-à-vis the dogmas of Modernism, and the laid-back openness of the work of all three artists allows a significant dialogue to strike up.


The paintings in this exhibition disarm you with their directness as they delight in contrariness. Hard lines wobble; pristine surfaces welcome drips and stains. This relaxed approach to geometry tickles the idea of serious Minimalism, like a smart child tickles a beloved father. They make you think that there is no such thing as pure abstraction - everything is part of the physical world.


There is an emblematic quality to Wilson’s paintings. Daring because of their sparseness, they mix minimal sophistication with witty humour. There is a layering of invention and reaction that can never entirely be predicted, but there is a sense that rules ‘are at work’, as if a game is being constructed but the rules have to be found as the painting develops and can only be known to the artist as if the consciousness is found when the rules have been found. This approach bans any authorial control or knowledge and reinforces the work’s poetic and amiable atmosphere. With subtle associations to works of other painters of the 20th century, Wilson inscribes her paintings with an art historical anamnesis that also triggers the viewers’ personal recollections. Wilson’s thoughts about the works of other artists mingle with subjective motifs from her own biography.


OPEN TO THE PUBLIC: Saturdays until 24 June 2017 10am - 4pm