La Wilson, Holy Wisdom, 2010. Mixed media, 13.5 x 19 x 3.25 in.

La Wilson

Hudson, New York

John Davis Gallery

Now in her mid-80s, Ohio-based, primarily self-taught La Wilson has long made resonant, even transgressive-feeling assemblage works. Her signature form is the box, which she uses to hold compositions made up of everyday objects, very much like a conventional frame provides a border for a painting’s pictorial space. For years, she has scoured flea markets in search of antique packing boxes, the kinds of containers that once held sewing notions or hardware. Over the years, Wilson has gained a cult following among fellow artists working in collage and assemblage. Because her work is more funky-abstract than literary-romantic, it has never really sunk into the consciousness of viewers whose understanding of box-assemblage sculpture begins and ends with Joseph Cornell or self-conscious Surrealist provocation. With Wilson’s work, a winking, postmodern sense of irony about the appropriated and recontextualized can fall flat; her creations are surreal, abstract, or po-mo only by accident or by unintentional affinity, not by design. …see the entire review in the print version of April’s Sculpture magazine.