Paula Wilson’s work blends multimedia and multi-cultural references to create extravagant paintings, prints, and videos that are simultaneously realistic and unworldly. The dense layering of color, image, pattern, and material acts as a visual metaphor for the complex stratum of histories and cultures that inform the work. With a style characterized by narrative, bold color, and pattern, her work often depicts interactions between figures and highly detailed scenes of the natural environment. Her subject matter is multifaceted and draws inspiration from real and invented cultural histories and identities that explore myth, race, and sexuality.
Collapsing the distance between art and life, Entangled embraces an anthropomorphic worldview where nature and human life are embodied and reflected. Monumental silhouetted figures, garbed in rich pictorial material, hold the unseen forces of nature at work, specifically the mutualistic relationship the yucca has with its sole pollinator—the yucca moth.
Wilson relocated in 2008 from Brooklyn to South Central New Mexico, settling into the old railroad town of Carrizozo with her woodworker companion Mike Lagg. In this high desert world home, art, and the natural world are Entangled . Prints, video, furniture, paintings, sculptures, and clothing merge to reveal a handmade life where their interdependence and interconnectivity takes form.
About the artist
Born and raised in Chicago, Wilson currently lives and works in Carrizozo, New Mexico. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally at such venues as the Studio Museum in Harlem, Sikkema Jenkins & Co. and Denny Dimin Gallery in New York, Emerson Dorsch Gallery in Miami, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Center for Contemporary Art Santa Fe, Johan Berggren Gallery in Malmö, Sweden, and Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland. Wilson has received numerous grants and awards including a Joan Mitchell Artist Grant, Art Production Fund’s P3Studio Artist-in-Residency at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and the Bob and Happy Doran Fellowship at Yale University. Her work is included in the collections of The Studio Museum in Harlem, Yale University Art Gallery, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, and Saatchi Gallery. Wilson received an MFA from Columbia University in New York.