Anna Zorina Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition by American artist Graham Wilson in his New York solo debut, Every Which Way But Loose. Wilson creates paintings only to destroy them. He will fully develop a painting before ripping it into shreds and arduously assembling a new artwork from the battered remnants. The active technique employed to create his multilayered canvases instills the works with a dynamic energy and inherent potential for the process to continue into future forms.
The artist confronts his current place in art history by combining multiple styles in a Sisyphean manner that alternates between creation and destruction. Wilson’s paintings begin as representational pieces made up of thick impasto strokes. However, these are never to be seen, the artist quickly tears the canvas into many strips that are soaked in paint stripper until only faint traces of the original texture, color and tone remain. These vestiges are given a second life through being woven and stretched back onto a frame creating a new, latticed surface on which to paint again. This time, pigment is applied from the back in a thick wash that seeps through the many layers towards the front of the painting. Hints of the initial gestural work are now embedded within layers of paint applied experimentally in drips and spills, harkening back to Modernist methods employed by Abstract Expressionists and Color Field painters. Wilson’s techniques satisfy the desire to create an innately personal work while eliminating evidence of his hand.
These works feature an inherently unresolved tension through capturing unique histories, pasts, and possible futures. While they stand as reminders of the perceived failures and forgotten ideals embedded in previous works, these new works deter clear definition. The immense layers of canvas create an impenetrable surface that prohibits the viewer from applying definitive meaning to the works, suggesting instead that from a certain degree zero of painting something new can be built.
Graham Wilson (b. 1987, Louisville, Kentucky) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. The artist has been featured in solo exhibitions internationally including Paris, Milan, Brussels and New York. His works have been reviewed in renowned publications such as Artforum, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal and Modern Painters. Wilson will be participating in the Yaddo Residency in Saratoga Springs in the Fall of 2017.