Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jane Wilson - Mid-Century Style Icon

In case you missed it, an article by Jeffrey Trachtenberg in the WSJ about artist Jane Wilson
Coming of age artistically speaking in the Mid-Century, Wilson bucked the trend towards Abstract Expressionism and stuck to her unique style in the landscape genre.
Land, Sea and Sky by Jane Wilson
Today, at the age of 86, Ms. Wilson is helping to rejuvenate a long overlooked genre of painting. She is seen as a bridge between the realistic and figurative painters of the late 1950s and the Abstract Expressionists. Though her works stand out for being in touch with real places, she has infused landscapes with the lessons of her friends. Her work has broken the mold of conventional landscapes: They are not a celebration of old-time beauty. They are intimate, spare and horizontal.
I love this genre of painting which I call abstract landscape.  Obviously, it has been much copied...in fact I have a large Wilson-ish painting hanging in my bedroom.  I only wish that I could afford the real thing and get the glow.
The article has an interesting description of her technique.

Ms. Wilson prefers a canvas grain that's slightly coarser than fine portrait linen, one that brings out the texture of the paint. She relies on "scumbling," in which layers of paint are built up to create a shimmery effect, to give her work its depth and vitality.
"They aren't smooth layers," she said. "They are layers you put on roughly so that you can see through them. It's like being outdoors."
In each painting she tries to build in some sort of glow. Part of it is technical, she said, in that the inner structure of the painting, the initial layers of paint, must have a pale color. Then she builds alternating layers. "They begin to build up, and they begin to do something you can't anticipate," she said. "It starts to lead you, and you have no choice but to follow."

Not only do I like her painting style, I like her sartorial style as well.
So chic in 1957
Is this not the perfect look for a summer day in 1957 spent outdoors on Long Island?
There is something Modigliani-esque about her pose and the tilt of her head in this photo from 1960.

And finally, here is a photo of the artist in her studio in 2004. 
She still has style, doesn't she.
Digg this

13 comments:

Karena said...

Absolutely adore her art and her style (much like my genre) A wonderful portriat of her.

I have a $200 Giveaway from Fifi Flowers!
Do come and enter!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Wildernesschic said...

What a beautiful stylish woman xx

David Toms said...

Belle, she is incredibly chic! I love her art as well.

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Belle, she is wonderfully stylish and elegant xx

LPC said...

Wow. Gorgeous.

Miss Whistle said...

Thank you for this. It's extraordinary work. Thanks to LPG, hello, glad to find you here. We may be *almost* neighbors.

Miss Whistle x

Belle de Ville said...

Karena, Ruth, David, Christina, LPC isn't this woman amazing? All that talent, taste and beauty in one woman, wow.
Miss Whistle, welcome to my world!

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Very sharp.

Dash said...

Beautiful, stylish and talented, what a combination!
X

Dash said...

PS
Thank you for your lovely words and link to the Sita Devi post.

I also did a post on Renee Pearl some time ago, with a beautiful quote from Lartigues diary, on his first impressions on her, I think you will like it.
X

http://thefrenchsampler.blogspot.com/2010/06/renee-perle.html

Couture Carrie said...

Gorgeous post!
Love her work!

xoxox,
CC

Tabitha said...

She looks amazing, even now.
I love paintings with layer upon layer of paint, I can stare at Lucien Freud's technique for hours.

the solar flare said...

beautiful post :) i'm new on blogger :) your blog is awesome :) if you want to follow me i'll follow you back :D xoxo

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