Seymour, 1924 - 2015

Jane Wilson

Jane Wilson was an American painter best known for her horizon landscapes of sunsets, storms, clouds, and the ocean rendered in expressive and vibrant colors. Over her career, she transitioned from Abstract Expressionist works to landscapes, a change attributable to her many social connections with New York-based artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning.

Born in Iowa, Wilson cited her upbringing in the Great Plains as an influence on her landscape paintings. She also honed her style when she went on to study at the University of Iowa under Dr. Lester Longman. When Jane Wilson left Iowa in 1949, she embarked on what would be the defining moment of her sixty-year career as an artist. Arriving in New York City, she and her husband, John Gruen,...

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Biography

Jane Wilson was an American painter best known for her horizon landscapes of sunsets, storms, clouds, and the ocean rendered in expressive and vibrant colors. Over her career, she transitioned from Abstract Expressionist works to landscapes, a change attributable to her many social connections with New York-based artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning.

Born in Iowa, Wilson cited her upbringing in the Great Plains as an influence on her landscape paintings. She also honed her style when she went on to study at the University of Iowa under Dr. Lester Longman. When Jane Wilson left Iowa in 1949, she embarked on what would be the defining moment of her sixty-year career as an artist. Arriving in New York City, she and her husband, John Gruen, settled in Greenwich Village and soon immersed themselves in the downtown art scene.

In 1952 at the Cedar Tavern, the bar made famous by the abstract expressionists who frequented it, Wilson was approached to be a co-founder of the legendary Hansa Gallery, an artists’ cooperative that was first on East 12th Street. Wilson had three solo shows at Hansa, in 1953, 1955, and 1957. She also participated in important group shows during these years, including Tanager Gallery, another of the most active artists’ cooperatives, and in three annual exhibitions from 1953 to 1955 at the Stable Gallery. In the mid-1950s, the Stable Annuals were major events that featured the work of both well-known and emerging artists, from Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning to Robert Rauschenberg and Helen Frankenthaler. At that time, Wilson was working in an abstract expressionist mode, creating work that resonated with the energy of the moment. Later in the decade, she shifted to expressionist landscapes, painting the area around Water Mill, New York, on the East End of Long Island, where she and her husband purchased an old shingled carriage house in 1960.

Wilson’s career as an artist began to take off in the early 1960s. The Museum of Modern Art acquired a large landscape, The Open Scene, in 1960, and Andy Warhol commissioned her to paint his portrait, Andy and Lilacs, which he subsequently donated to the Whitney Museum of American Art. That year she also joined Tibor de Nagy Gallery, which represented several of her friends and other, mainly young painters, including Frankenthaler, Porter, Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Jane Freilicher, and Nell Blaine.

In the early 1980s, Wilson returned to painting landscapes, and developed the distinctive approach for which she is best-known today – luminous works that hover between abstraction and representation, inspired by the sky, sea, and land around Water Mill. In 1999, she joined DC Moore Gallery, where she has had seven solo exhibitions in the past fifteen years. Her paintings are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among others.

She died on January 13, 2015 in New York, NY.

Artworks

Four Paper Palettes, 1973

Related Categories

20th Century Art / Abstract Expressionism / American Abstract Expressionism / American Art / Art after World War II / Art of the 1950s / Art of the 1960s / Art of the 1970s / Canvas / Contemporary American Art / Daily Life Experience / Gentle and Smooth Brushstrokes / Inspired by Nature / Landscape Painting / Natural Environment / Nature / New York / Oil on Canvas / Oil Paint / Oil Painting / Painting / Scenes of Everyday Life / Still Life / United States / Women Artists

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1947

    M.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

  • 1945

    B.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2014

    DC Moore Gallery, New York

  • 2011

    DC Moore Gallery, New York

  • 2009

    DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Painters of the East End, Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • Go Figure! Curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY

  • 2017

    Painting the Visible World: American Women Realists, Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, New York, NY, June 8-July 22, 2017

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Curriculum Vitae

The artist CV shows the details after 2000s.
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Education

  • 1947

    M.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

  • 1945

    B.A., University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2014

    DC Moore Gallery, New York

  • 2011

    DC Moore Gallery, New York

  • 2009

    DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2008

    The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

  • 2007

    DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2006

    The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

  • 2004

    DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2003

    DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • The MAC, Dallas, TX

  • 2001

    DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY

Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Painters of the East End, Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • Go Figure! Curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY

  • 2017

    Painting the Visible World: American Women Realists, Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, New York, NY, June 8-July 22, 2017

  • Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965, Grey Art Gallery, New York

  • University, New York, NY. Traveled to: NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, United Arab Emirates, February - March, 2018

  • 2015

    Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY

  • Perspectives on Land, Sea, and Sky, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

  • American Horizons, East to West: Landscape Painting and Photography, Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, NY

  • 2014

    The Annual 2014: Redefining Tradition, National Academy Museum, New York, NY

  • 2013

    Landscape Selections from the Permanent Collection, Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY

  • Landscape into Abstraction, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA

  • 2012

    Flying Point Beach: Photographs by John Jonas Gruen and the Artwork of The New York School, (Art) Amalgamated, New York, NY

  • Long Island in Bloom, The Long Island Museum of American Art, History & Carriages, Stony Brook, NY

  • 2011

    Never The Same Twice, DC Moore Gallery, NY 2010 Viewpoint, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA

  • 2009

    American Views: Landscape Paintings from the Collection of the Parrish Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

  • Trees, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2008

    Evening Light, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • Inspired By The Light: Landscapes by East End Masters, Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY

  • Eyes on the Natural World, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY

  • Light of Spring, Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, NY

  • 2007

    Picturing Long Island: Abstract, Figurative and Historical, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY

  • 2005

    Disegno: The One Hundred and Eightieth Annual Exhibition, The National Academy of Design, New York, NY

  • Artist and Nature in Eastern Long Island 1940 to 2005, Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, NY

  • Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts, UBS Art Gallery, New York, NY

  • Landscape,Cityscape, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY

  • The Little Continent of Long Island: Landscapes from the Permanent Collection, The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, NY

  • 2004 American and Contemporary Masters’; Southport Harbor Gallery; Southport, CT.

  • Everyday Mysteries: Modern and Contemporary Still Life, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • Watercolors, DFN Gallery, New York, NY

  • There, there, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • skies & scapes, DFN Gallery, New York, NY

  • North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now Part 2, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

  • Art from The Paris Review, Guild Hall, East Hampton, NY

  • 2003

    Kaleidoscopes, Red Gallery, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA

  • Challenging Tradition: Women of the Academy, 1826-2003, National Academy of Design Museum, New York, NY

  • The Way They See It, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • Anywhere But Here, Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2002

    BOUNDLESS/SILENCE, States of Infinity, curated by Edward De Luca, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY

  • The Sea, the Sea ..., Graham Leader in association with Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, Art Upstairs @ GHB, East Hampton, NY

  • American Views: Memory, Nostalgia, and the Idea of Place, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

  • 2001 Drawn to the Light: Seascapes by Eight Contemporary Artists, curated by Genevieve Linnehan, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, FL

  • Long Island: Morning, Noon & Night, Contemporary Long Island Landscape Painting, curated by Ronald Pisano, The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, NY

  • By the Sea, Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, NY

  • 2000

    Tibor de Nagy Gallery - The First Fifty Years 1950 - 2000, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY

  • By the Sea, Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, NY

  • Las Vegas, Graveyard Time, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX

Collections

  • Selected Public Collections

  • Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX

  • American Embassy, Manila, The Philippines

  • Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

  • Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA

  • Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

  • The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

  • Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Udine, Udine, Italy

  • Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection, New York, NY

Publications

  • 2016

    Marter, Joan ed. Women of Abstract Expressionism. Denver: Denver Art Museum, in association with, New Haven and New York: Yale University Press.

  • 2015

    Weber, Bruce. All American XV Leap of Faith. New York: TeNeues Publishing Company.

  • Longwell, Alicia G. Seen and Unseen: Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson, exhibition catalogue. Watermill, NY: The Parrish Art Museum.

  • 2011

    Jane Wilson: New Paintings (exhibition catalogue). New York: DC Moore Gallery.

  • 2009

    Sussman, Elizabeth, Justin Spring. Jane Wilson: Horizons. London: Merrell Publishers.

  • Jane Wilson: Recent Paintings, exhibition catalogue, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY, essay by Stephen Westfall

  • 2007

    Jane Wilson, Exhibtion catalogue, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY, essay by Elizabeth Rogers

  • 2005

    Landscape,Cityscape, (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough Gallery, New York, illus. P.26

  • Guild Hall: An Adventure in the Arts, UBS Art Gallery, New York, NY, illus (exhibition announcement)

  • Disegno: The One Hundred and Eightieth Annual Exhibition,The National Academy of Design, New York, NY,exhibition catalogue illus. p.187

  • 2004

    Jane Wilson, Exhibtion catalogue, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY, essay by Elisabeth Sussman

  • Longwell, Alicia G. North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now, (exhibition catalogue), Southampton, NY: The Parrish Art Museum, p. 79.

  • 2003

    Jane Wilson, Exhibition catalogue, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY and The MAC, Dallas, TX, essay by Roger Winter

  • 2001

    Jane Wilson Land-Sea-Sky,Exhibition catalogue, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY, Heckscher Museum, Huntington, NY interview by Justin Spring, introduction by Anne Cohen DePietro.

  • 2000

    Tibor de Nagy Gallery - The First Fifty Years 1950 - 2000, Exhibition catalogue, Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY, essays by John Asbery, Hilton Kramer and Karen Wilkin.

Bibliography

Teaching

  • 1988

    Columbia University, New York, NY Acting Chair (1975-88)

  • 1983

    Parsons School of Design, New York, NY (1973-1983)

  • 1977

    Visiting Mellon Professor in Painting, Cooper Union, New York, NY (1976-1977)

  • 1970

    Pratt Art Institute, Brooklyn, NY (1967-1970)

  • 1949

    University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (1947-1949)