Paula Wilson

Born 1975, Chicago, IL, United States

Paula Wilson, portrait
Paula Wilson, Sightseer, 2017
Paula Wilson, Sightseer, 2017, acrylic and oil paint on muslin mounted to canvas and board, woodblock print, monotype, acrylic and oil painting on muslin, 115 x 37 inches

Wilson fuses wide-ranging techniques and media with her observations of the natural world, where it is a matter of survival to make space for oneself to live, love, and make art.

Selected Works

These are a selected group of works and installation photographs. For a complete list of available works please contact us.

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Paula Wilson

Paula Wilson is an artist, cultural producer and teacher. She cultivates a holistic practice incorporating her life in the high desert into artworks whose multiple styles and media themselves necessitate the act of making connections across cultures. Recurring themes of feminine power, natural life systems, and art-making itself converge under the umbrella of regeneration and change.

Wilson’s life in a high desert town in New Mexico plays an important role in her art. The town, called Carrizozo, was incorporated in 1899 around a steam engine railway station, which became inactive, and is now home to less than 1000 people. Some of the old facades remain on the town’s main street, the tallest of which are the Lyric Theater and an old hotel. These crumbling adobe buildings flank the warehouse that is Wilson’s studio. Behind them, Wilson and her partner, Mike Lagg have built a strange and wonderful built environment that blends sculpture garden with utility – hot tub, recycling center. The couple runs an open studio program they call MoMAZoZo and helps to run the Carrizozo Artist in Residency Program. They share their art with the community, and they share their community and its place with artist colleagues from around the country. The place is marked by modest dwellings, yucca plants and cacti, and wide-open spaces with dramatic mountains in the distance. Geology is raw there, with White Sands Monument and the Valley of Fire just 20 minutes away in either direction.

Around their home, guest house, and studios, everything from paintings, floor treatments, blinds, wooden carpentry to plates and cutlery exist on a continuum that connects the lived, loved and created. Wide-ranging styles and multimedia artworks reflect Wilson’s openness to the fullness of her experience in this landscape, her intellectual life and her mastery of multiple artistic mediums and techniques including printmaking, painting, assemblage, collage, sculpture, fabric arts, design, installation, video and performance. Narrative artworks place feminine subjects in positions of power. Others give attention to quotidian acts of intellectual freedom, like a woman bent over a task or a book in concentration. The picture rejects voyeurism and gives form to interiority. She can be whoever and wherever she wants to be.

Wilson’s research in the liberal arts, sciences, humanities and philosophy make her practice tremendously wide-reaching, so that it is based in New Mexico with roots and seedlings in cultures around the world. Her work is just as layered in her references as her techniques, calling on African American art, indigenous African art, Pre-Columbian, European and ancient Western art. Her expansive practice forcefully proclaims her place in the art histories she engages.


Paula Wilson (Born 1975, Chicago, IL; Lives Carrizozo, NM) has exhibited widely in the United States. Two institutional solo exhibitions will open this year at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. Her work is currently on view in a two-woman show at the Albuquerque Museum in New Mexico as part of a program of exhibitions from the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in New York. Past institutional solo exhibitions have been presented by Locust Projects in Miami, FL; 516Arts in Albuquerque, NM; Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, NY; Bemis Contemporary Art Center in Omaha, Nebraska; Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM; and The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA.

Wilson’s work is represented in a growing number of leading museum and institutional collections, including The Studio Museum Harlem in New York, NY; The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA; The Girls’ Club Collection in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, ME; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, MI; The Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY; The New York Public Library in New York, NY; the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM, and Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, CT.

Wilson’s bibliography includes articles and reviews published in The New Yorker, Artnet, Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Art Newspaper, Art Practical, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, Vogue Italia, St. Louis Magazine, and Southwest Contemporary, to name a few.

Among Wilson’s past honors, encompassing prizes and residencies, are the Frederick Hammersley Visiting Artist, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; Hodder Fund Grant from Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts; Award of Distinction, Washington University, Sax Fox School of Design and Visual Art; Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence, New Orleans, LA, 2017; Happy and Bob Doran Artist-in-Residence, Yale University Art Gallery; and Short List, Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, Studio Museum Harlem. Ossorio Fellow, Lunder Institute of American Art, Colby College, Waterville, ME.

She is co-founder of the Carrizozo Artist-in-Residency and MoMAZoZo, both in Carrizozo, New Mexico.



2005 MFA, Columbia University, New York, NY
1998 BFA, Washington University, summa cum laude, St. Louis, MO 



Paula Wilson: Toward the Sky’s Back Door, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum & Art Gallery, 

Saratoga Springs, NY


Upcoming: Be Wild. Bewilder, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL, 2022-2023

Imago, Denny Dimin Gallery, New York, NY


On High, Project Space, Locust Projects, Miami, FL, 2020-2021


Entangled, 516 ARTS, Albuquerque, NM


The Light Becomes You, Denny Dimin Gallery, New York, NY 

Spread Wild: Pleasures of the Yucca, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY 

PIECESCAPE, Visitor Welcome Center, Los Angeles, CA 

FLOORED, Williamson | Knight, Portland, OR 


Salty & Fresh, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL

Paula Wilson: The Backward Glance, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE 


Salty & Fresh, Cherry & Lucic, Portland, OR 

Back it Up, Museum Blue, St. Louis, MO 


Undress, Center for Contemporary Arts, Spector Ripps Project Space, Santa Fe, NM 


First Story, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA


The Stained Glass Ceiling, Bellwether Gallery, New York, NY


Paintings and Drawings from the Hanno Valley, Galleria Suzy Shammah, Milan, Italy 


What’s So Personal, The Butcher Shop, Chicago, IL 




Ashley Bryan | Paula Wilson: Take the World Into Your Arms, Colby College Museum of Art’s Joan Dignam Schmaltz Gallery in the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, Waterville, ME


Nicola López and Paula Wilson: Becoming Land, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM, 2022-2023




The Wild and The Tame, Denny Dimin Gallery, Hong Kong 

Plein Air, MOCA Tucson, Tucson, AZ 

Lunarian, Denny Dimin Gallery, Hong Kong


Eye to I: Self-Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM, 2021

There Is a Woman in Every Color: Black Women in Art, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME, 2021-2022

Prototypes, Converge 45, Portland’s Monuments & Memorials Project, Portland, OR, 2021

Staying with the Trouble, curated by Kate McNamara, Tufts University Galleries, Medford & Boston, MA, 2021

A Contemporary Black Matriarchal Lineage in Printmaking, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, curated by Delita Martin and Tanekeya Word, Minneapolis, MN, 2021

Marking Time / Making Space, Blue Galleries at Boise State University, Boise, ID, 2021

Mobilizing The Landscape: Contemporary Artists Explore Landscape and Place, Curated by Emily Noelle Lambert, Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery at Keene State College, Keene, NH


We’ve Only Just Begun: 100 Years of Skidmore Women in Politics, The Frances Young Tang Teaching

Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Constellation, David Lewis Gallery, New York, NY 

Lover Earth: Art and Ecosexuality (virtual), curated by Caroline Coxe, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 

Drawn: Concept & Craft, curated by Tomas Vu and Wendy Earle, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NC 

Since n’ React to the Drop (online viewing room), curated by David L Bell, OCHI Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

CHARCOAL: Strokes of Vitality, Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM 


Contemporary Performance, curated by Kalup Linzy, Florida Museum of Photographic Art, Tampa, FL 

Fragment, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL 

In This Body of Mine: Strange Fire Collective at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI 

hands all blue, collaborative work with iris yirei hu, Visitor Welcome Center, Los Angeles, CA 

20 and Odd: The 400-Year Anniversary of 1619, curated by Kalia Brooks Nelson, Leroy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY 


Paradise Summit Miami, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL 

sweet cheeks, Big Pictures, Los Angeles, CA

Venus Occults Jupiter, Love Apple Art Space, Ghent, NY

‘Spirit Ground’ A Film Screening, Coaxial Arts, Los Angeles, CA

Island Press: Recent Prints, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO 

Thinking Through Art, Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, VT 


Sunrise, Sunset, Emerson Dorsch Gallery, Miami, FL 

The Unhomely, Denny Gallery, New York, NY 

The Young Years, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, curated by Dayton Director Ian Berry, Saratoga Springs, NY 

Women Painting, Miami Dade College, Kendall Gallery, Miami, FL 

New Faces, Different Places, Central Features Contemporary Art, Albuquerque, NM


Surface Area: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 

The Home Show, form & concept, Santa Fe, NM

Girls Who Dance in Dissonance, Wayside, Los Angeles, CA

Self-Proliferation, Girls’ Club, curated by Micaela Giovannotti, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Faces and Vases, Royal NoneSuch Gallery, Oakland, CA

Visions Into Infinite Archives, SOMArts Cultural Center, curated by Black Salt Collective, San Francisco, CA 


DRAW: Mapping Madness, Inside – Out Art Museum, curated by Tomas Vu, Beijing, China 


Paula Wilson & Jovencio de la Paz, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck, MI

Perception Isn’t Always Reality, Kranzberg Arts Center, St. Louis, MO 

Lake Effect, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, curated by Mike Andrews, Saugatuck, MI 

Summer Art Faculty Exhibition, Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 


I Am The Magic Hand, Sikkema Jenkins & Co, Organized by Josephine Halvorson, New York, NY 

Sanctify, Vincent Price Museum, Los Angeles, CA 


The Bearden Project, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

Configured, Benrimon Contemporary, Curated By Teka Selman, New York, NY 


Art by Choice, Mississippi Museum of Fine Art, Jackson, MS 

The February Show, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, NY 


Defrosted: A Life of Walt Disney, Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY 

Art on Paper: The 41st Exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC 

41st Collectors Show, Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK 

Carrizozo Artist’s Show, Gallery 408, Carrizozo, NM


A Decade of Contemporary American Printmaking: 1999-2009, Tsingha University, Beijing, China 

Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image Since 1970, Spelman College of  Art, Atlanta, GA, and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX

While We Were Away, Sragow Gallery, New York, NY

Collected Propositions on the Permanent Collection, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 


Horizon, EFA Gallery, Curated by David Humphrey, New York, NY 

Black Alphabet, conTEXTS of Contemporary African American Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland 


Turn the Beat Around, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY 

The Manhattan Project, Fred Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL 

Frequency, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY 


MFA Thesis Exhibition, Columbia University, New York, NY

Recess: Images & Objects in Formation, Rush Gallery, Curated by Derek Adams, New York, NY 

Past Perfect, Kantor/ Feuer Gallery, New York, NY 


After Goya, Leroy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, Curated by Tomas Vu Daniel, New York, NY 

Hungry Eyes, Columbia University, Ira D Wallach Gallery, New York, NY 


Signs, Public Art Installation, Chicago, IL


Brat(Wurst), A show of Chicago Artists, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA 

2000 Young Love, Mapreed Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 

Art in St. Louis, Honorable Mention, Curated By Jerry Saltz, Art St. Louis Gallery, St. Louis, MO 


Art in St. Louis, Honorable Mention, Curated By Jerry Saltz, Art St. Louis Gallery, St. Louis, MO




Ossorio Fellow, Lunder institute of American Art, Colby College, Waterville, ME


Frederick Hammersley Visiting Artist, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM


Hodder Fund Grant, Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton, NJ


Award of Distinction, Washington University, Sax Fox School of Design and Visual Art, St. Louis, MO 


Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence, New Orleans, LA


Cannonball Visiting Artist Residency, Miami, FL 

‘BAZAAR,’ P3 Studio Residency, The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Curated by the Art Production Fund, 

Las Vegas, NV


Fabric Workshop and Museum Residency Grant, Philadelphia, PA 


Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant 

Happy and Bob Doran Artist-in-Residence, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT


Short List, Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, Studio Museum Harlem, New York, NY


Giverny Residency, Art Production Fund, Giverny, France


Edward Mazella Jr. Scholarship for Excellence in the Visual Arts, Columbia University, New York 


Women’s Studio Workshop Intern, Rosendale, NY 

Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency, Johnson, VT 

Milovich Award in Painting, School of Art, Washington University


Founder, The Danchimah Nigerian-American Laboratory Schools Creative Arts Center, Abia State, Nigeria 




Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM


Cranbrook Editions, Cranbrook Academy or Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI Oberlin College Editions, Oberlin, OH


University of Iowa Editions, Iowa City, IA


Island Press, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 


University of Oregon Editions, Eugene, OR 


Master Print Series, MassArts, Boston, MA
City Editions, City College, New York, NY

Earth By, A Planet Magazine Publication,


Columbia University’s Leroy Nieman Print Center, New York, NY


North Drive Press, Volume 2. Curated by Matt Keegan, Brooklyn, NY


The Analogue Press Portfolio Series, Volume 1, Issue 3. Curated by Annie Shaw, Los Angeles, CA 


A Stone’s Throw, Juried Twenty-Three Member National Portfolio Exchange, New York, NY 




Howard, Heidi, “Turning to the Light: Paula Wilson Interviewed by Heidi Howard,” BOMB, Oct 24

“Imago”, Kolaj Magazine, October

Roberts, Kathaleen and Journal Staff Writer, “Three exhibits at Albuquerque Museum are inspired by Thomas Cole,” Albuquerque Journal, October 21

Talluto, Amy, “Interview w/ Paula Wilson,” Pep Talks for Artists, October 20

Fateman, Johanna, “Paula Wilson,” The New Yorker, September 30.

Carey, Brainard, “Paula Wilson – The Lives of the Artists,” Praxis on Yale University Radio, Sep 28

Cascone, Sarah, “13 Buzzy Back-to-School Gallery Shows to See During Armory Week, From a Red-Hot Group Show to Rick Lowe’s Gagosian Debut,” Artnet News, September 6

Votang, Thao, “Plein Air Is a Sobering Reminder of Human Impact on the Environment,” Hyperallergic, August 29

Trimble, Lynn, “Plein Air Challenges Assumptions and Aesthetics at MOCA Tucson,” Southwest Contemporary, June 17


Boyle, Molly, “Paula Wilson Layers Art with Complex Narratives,” New Mexico Magazine, August 18

Krafcik, Hannah, “The Art of Learning: KSMoCA adapts to the pandemic,” Oregon Arts Watch, Mar 8

Bielski, Annie. “Visual Artist Paula Wilson on being mindful of where you put your attention,” The Creative Independent, February


Hermo, Carmen, “Curator Carmen Hermo Shares Her Favorite Works from UNTITLED, ART Miami Beach”, Artspace. November 18  

Gerwin, Daniel, “iris yirei hu and ivan forde, Critics’ Pick, ARTFORUM, October
Angie Rizzo, “Studio Visit: Paula Wilson and Mike Lagg”, ​Southwest Contemporary,Santa Fe, NM, June 

Kenney, Nancy, ​Columbia University exhibition retells the story of America by foregrounding ‘black genius’,​ The Art Newspaper, 3rd September 

Kamerick, Megan,​ “Natural synergy ARTISTS MIRA BURACK AND PAULA WILSON,Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo​, June 28-July 4 

Roberts,Kathaleen, “516 shows spotlight transplanted viewpoints”, Albuquerque Journal, June 16, 2019 


Brown, Brice and Winkfield, Trevor, ed., “Tether 4”, Sienese Shredder Editions, New York, NY 

Knowlton, James, “Paula Wilson: Floored at Williamson Knight,” Art Practical, March 27 

Interview with Paula Wilson, Yale University Radio WYBCX, March 23
Gifford, Ashley, “A Conversation with Artist Paula Wilson,” Art & About, March 20 


‘Salty/Fresh: Paula Wilson’s House of Art’ Rhonda Garelick, The Brooklyn Rail, May 1
‘A Stained-Glass World Where Women Are Worshipped’ Monica Uszerowicz, Hyperallergic, May 2 

Rupert, Sarah Michelle and Weinberg, Michelle ed., Women Painting: Works from the collection of Francie Bishop Good & David Horvitz, Fort Lauderdale: Girl’s Club 

Berry, Ian, and McNamara, Rebecca ed., Accelerate No1: Access and Inclusion, Saratoga Springs: The Frances Young Tang Museum 

Berry, Ian, ed., The Young Years, Saratoga Springs: The Frances Young Tang Museum 

“Race, Gender, and Human Identity” Kim Carpenter, Omaha World Herald, Go Magazine insert, March 23 


“Black Salt Collective Agitates the Archive with ‘Visions’ at SomArts” Sarah Hotchkiss, KQED Arts, January 14 


“Behind and Beyond: Paula Wilson’s Back it Up at Museum Blue” Daniel Stumeier, St. Louis Magazine, April 


“The bureau of reclamations” Jennifer Levin, The Santa Fe New Mexican, November 14 


“‘I Am The Magic Hand’” Ryan Steadman, Critics’ Pick ARTFORUM, July 

“‘I Am The Magic Hand’ and Antony: ‘The Cut’” Roberta Smith, The New York Times, June 28 

“I Am The Magic Hand at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.” Will Heinrich, New York Observer, June 18 

“Paula Wilson” Damon Locks, The Population, May 14 


“The Bearden Project” Elizabeth Gwinn, Lauren Haynes, and Abbe Schriber, The Studio Museum in Harlem 

“Peeling back a building’s layers, At the Fabric Workshop, murals of urban facades, and a celebration of monochrome.” The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 30 

“Paula Wilson’s latest exhibition at the Fabric Workshop is a story of privilege.” Philadelphia Weekly, July 7

“Muse: The New Face of Fashion” ESSENCE, February  


 “Faded” Mariuccia Casadio, Vogue Italia, June 

“Paula Wilson” Barry Schwabsky, ARTFORUM, January

“Paula Wilson” Jeff,, February 


“Diff’rent Tropes” View and Spew, November 

“Chelsea: Art Chockablock With Encyclopedic Range” Roberta Smith, The New York Times, Nov 14 

“Paula Wilson’s Stained Glass Ceiling at Bellwether” Oly’s Musing, October 20 2007 



“A Wild Horizon” Stephen Maine, The New York Sun, July 5


“Critic’s Picks: Paula Wilson” Angela Madesani, ARTFORUM, June 16 

“A Tale of Four Cities” Carlos Suarez De Jesus, Miami New Times, March 2 


“Goings on about Town” The New Yorker, December 5 

“Art Against the Past” Celia McGee, Daily News, November 6

 “Where Issues of Black Identity Meet the Concerns of Every Artist” Roberta Smith, The New York Times, November 18 



The Studio Museum Harlem, New York, NY 

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT 

The New York Public Library, New York, NY 

Rubin Collection, New York, NY 

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, MO

The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA

The Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY

Art in Public Places | New Mexico Arts, Albuquerque & Santa Fe, NM 

Saatchi Gallery, London, UK 

Colby College Museum of Art

Middlebury University

The Norton Collection

Moore College of Art and Design

Girls’ Club

Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Albuquerque Museum



2010-present MoMAZoZo
2014-present Carrizozo Artist-in-Residence 


Learn more about this artist.


For a complete list of related materials please contact us.

February 15 - April 13, 2019

Visit by Appointment

Due to COVID-19, we are open by appointment. The gallery will follow social distancing protocol and allow only a certain number of visitors per appointment.