Last month an obituary appeared in the NYT for La Wilson, who designed quirky assemblages out of odd materials that may or may not have had deeper meanings. My eye was caught by two things – Wilson died in Hudson, Ohio, which is about a 30 minute drive from my house; and her work is in the Akron Art Museum’s collection.
The copy for her 2014 show at the Akron Art Museum said,
Over the years, Wilson proceeded to position blocks of type, stamps, pastels, crepe paper, fishing lures, plastic forks, coins, rosaries, airplanes, toy guns and a myriad of other materials into boxes or frames creating elegant compositions that evoke delight, nostalgia and sometimes even a dark edge. Wilson comments that her constructions evolve from a “stream of consciousness,” noting that the objects either “click almost instantly” or “take forever to work.”
Not only did Wilson have the Akron show, but she was awarded a Cleveland Arts Prize in 1993. I’m ashamed to say it took her obituary to make me aware of her work, despite her local presence.
She talks about her methods in a short video made in 2011. Apparently her approach was purely intuitive. I love that she knew something was right when “It makes my heart beat faster.”
You can see more of her work at the John Davis Gallery website.