An Artist's Perspective: Jack Wilson

Apr 11, 2018

I want so badly to label the type of work Wichita painter Jack Wilson does. But nothing quite fits.

This is a good thing. I view his work and I see bits of Romare Bearden, flourishes of Marc Chagall, and the background and underpainting of Joan Mitchell.

And I’m in love with the work. I’m enamored with the approach, or indeed the attack Wilson performs on canvas. Paint is pushed, brushed, knifed, and sometimes squirted onto the surface with a syringe. It is then gouged, sanded, scraped and filed in areas. This amalgam, combined with an uncanny use of line and color make a Jack Wilson painting a vibrating force. One senses no fear or hesitation, only a courage and an ecstasy in the process.

At age 65, Jack Wilson has taken his place as a premier regionalist alongside the likes of Robert Kiskaden, William Dickerson, and the more widely known Lester Raymer. Wilson is wildly undervalued in my humble opinion, and in dire need of New York representation. His work will hopefully find that, and, for my own selfish reasons, also remain around Wichita for us to continually enjoy.

You can see Jack Wilson’s latest work in his current exhibition at Riney Gallery on the campus of Friends University through April.