Hilary Wilder, Nearer to Thee
Curated by Marisa C. Sánchez

Brooklyn, NY and Richmond, VA based artist Hilary Wilder investigates painting as a construction of reality and a structure of knowledge. Through the lens of landscape, which serves as a dynamic metaphor for human experience, Wilder introduces narratives and compositions that are held in tension between fact and fiction, order and disorder, stability and chaos, and the real and ideal. Informed by Romantic landscape painters, including Casper David Friedrich and J.M.W. Turner, Wilder's impressive, large-scale installations attempt to examine the forces of nature and culture. Often depicting explosive and tumultuous scenes, her paintings are supported by a grid painted directly onto the wall, which acts to balance the drama that unfolds in the canvases. This strategy is pursued by the artist in a number of her installations, with certain motifs recurring in her work, such as her use of bold, geometric patterning that references 1970s aesthetics.

For her residency at Open Satellite, Wilder has created an ambitious painting installation that is site-specific in her consideration of the space of the gallery, which provides a structural framework for her dramatic canvases. In the context of the Pacific Northwest, Wilder's thematic concerns offer a contemporary dialogue about landscapes and identity as well as a critique of place, history, and the environment.

Hilary Wilder received her MA and MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2000 and 2001. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2006 2007 and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant for 2007 2008. Recent exhibits include Courting Disaster at the Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta; There Goes the Neighborhood, sixspace, Los Angeles; and New Texas Painting, Diverseworks, Houston. Wilder is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Painting and Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She works in painting, installations, and videos, and she is also a writer of art criticism.


Exhibition Dates
February 21-April 5, 2008

View images

Opening Event
Thursday, February 21, 6-9 PM

Artist Lecture
Saturday, February 23, 4 PM
Henry Art Gallery Auditorium, Free

Press Release [ 36kb, PDF ]

Click an image to view larger

Photography credits: Eduardo Calderón