How do we transform the horrifying realities of this world into something beautiful? What are our psychological mechanisms for coping with subjects too painful for rational thought? These are the issues addressed in Edward Walton Wilcox’s second solo exhibition at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles.
With his Gothic sensibility and taste for the Romantic period, Wilcox imagines the distances and expanses we all must navigate in our own subconscious landscapes. He explores our warlike inclinations in an installation piece titled A Little Paranoia Goes a Long Way, featuring two large glass cabinets containing ten Belgian assault rifles preciously displayed as if they were artifacts of reverence, objects of aggressive meditation, or apocalyptic contemplation.
“Fanatic” includes paintings and sculptures that modulate between the stark realities of our age and the dreamlike musings of a mind in denial. Hauntingly beautiful, the work is overt in its reference to Gothic convention, in both content and physical facture. Wilcox's use of primitive materials such as wood, glass, rabbit skin glues, Italian pitch and gesso lend an old world authenticity to the crockets, tracery and other conventions of Gothic carpentry that caricaturize Wilcox’s multi-disciplined work.
Art critic David Cotner states, “Wilcox's work is a brilliant and romantic star hurtling through the same galaxy as fellow travelers Odd Nerdrum and Hieronymous Bosch, so if you like your aesthetic dread spiked with the imploding placid inevitable, then this is the art for you.”