Paula Wilson: Salty & Fresh

April 7 - May 17, 2017

Reception: April 7, 2017, 6 - 9pm

Paula Wilson revels in the light and vivid colors of stained glass, a medium with a long history of conveying narrative.

Selected Works

Paula Wilson: Salty & Fresh

Emerson Dorsch is proud to announce that Paula Wilson will be the gallery’s first visiting artist in the new location at 5900 NW 2nd Ave. Her exhibit, Salty & Fresh, features paintings, a wall installation, a sculpture and a video. Emerson Dorsch will host an opening reception for the artist and her exhibition on Friday, April 7th, 6-9pm.

Wilson’s video, Salty & Fresh, was shot in 2013 during her residency at Cannonball in Miami. Historic Virginia Key is the setting where Wilson’s iconic artistic giantess is juxtaposed with a set of blasé urban onlookers– a hyperbolically tall and joyfully adorned African queen/artist meets tropes of Western art history in a humorous and critical mélange.

In her newest paintings, disparate visual histories explode into kaleidoscopic patterns. She revels in the light and vivid colors of stained glass, a medium with a long history of conveying narrative. (Wilson has other bodies of work that mine the ancient visual history of rugs, mosaics and ceramics.) Her stained glass motif recalls the visual effect of Romare Bearden’s multi-colored collage techniques. She delivers a new story of the black experience in this mode.

In the midst of the large, elaborate and joyous works, a small painting depicts the dark exterior of a stained glass window centered in a brick wall. The bright colors occur only when you are inside and the sun is shining through the glass toward you. This piece, titled Out of Light, acknowledges deep and recent wounds in America’s intertwined histories. As beautiful and seductive as the colors and patterns in stained glass are, they are only visible when we ourselves are in the shadows. Are we “in the dark?” Is the darkness and the light within us? Wilson’s empathy, humor, and exuberance portrays a clear and critical perspective on our history and our future. The criticality sits easier in us this way and stands a chance of finding fertile ground and growing, as something new, into the light.


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.