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September 11th ~ October 13th 2005

Opening Sunday, September 11th from 1 - 5 pm.

Amy Wilson


Untitled detail from the dvd-r Daisey (#1) 2005

Historically, Wilson's been a big name in New Jersey. Woodrow Wilson won governorship of the state in 1910, after receiving an unsolicited nomination as Democratic candidate. He continued his life in politics as U.S. president, serving two consecutive terms from 1913 - 1921. Upon entering the White House, Wilson delivered what has long been respected as America's most literate inaugural speech.

Almost a century later, New Jerseyan Amy Wilson, the former president's namesake, though related solely on an intellectual level, began practicing politics through art, art through politics. Like most of her fellow artists, Wilson tends to lean left, but from her work it's often difficult to tell. She borrows bits and pieces of speeches by historical figures, extremists from all walks, and delivers them in bubbles spouting from the mouths of identical flaxen-haired moppets sheathed in smart a-line dresses. These girls have a lot more than fashion on their minds. Like their creator, and like Woodrow Wilson ultimately, they're "not too proud to fight" verbally or physically. The Wilsonettes can be found doing battle with a house of horror's range of monsters -- skeletons discontent with rest in peace, sea creatures risen from the murky depths, bloodthirsty spiders who put a new spin on entrapment with their gigantic sticky webs.

Speaking of which... Followers of the news will recognize Ms. Wilson as the artist who was unwittingly involved in the recent WTC/Drawing Center scandal. A 3"x 3" corner of one of Wilson's watercolors was used to oppose the Drawing Center's plan to relocate at Ground Zero. This corner was part of a seven-panel series entitled A Glimpse of What Life Could Be Like in a Free Country. As the title and the timing--the drawing was executed and displayed in 2004--would suggest, the series contained references to the then upcoming election and the war in Iraq. According to some survivors of 9/11 and certain family members of those who perished in the disaster, this made the work anti-American.

Amy Wilson's debut animation, Daisy, borrows from a television spot aired during the 1964 presidential race. The political ad, which was part of Lyndon Johnson's campaign, condemns nuclear proliferation. It features a little girl plucking petals from a daisy one by one. As she plucks the very last petal, the camera zooms into her eye. POV: Atomic explosion. Wilson's animation begins with a darkened sky; in it a handwritten text hovers, reading: "A century, like any institution, runs on inertia + is inherently laggard." Then, one of Wilson's blondies, while plucking pink petals by light of day, lets us know that "Even while commanded by the calendar, it will not easily give up the ghost. The turn of the century, as that wistful phrase has it, hardly signifies the brisk swing of agate on its hinge." I won't spoil the ending, but I'm sure you can guess it won't be pretty.

As the French said of a rather different sort of leader, in a previous century, after another war, "Vive Wilson!" Long may she reign in New Jersey and beyond!

Lauri Bortz, 2005

Purchase the dvd-r Daisy, (#1) 2005 with paypal here:

Please join us for the première of Amy Wilson's Daisy at Abaton Garage. The event is appropriately scheduled for 9/11. Daisy will be screened repeatedly from 1-5 PM. Refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon.

Directions to Abaton Garage.


From NYC take the Newark-bound PATH train to Journal Square. Taxis are available on Kennedy Boulevard, directly in front of the station. The ride to Abaton Garage takes less than five minutes and costs approximately $5. If you prefer to walk, simply stroll down Kennedy Boulevard about 3/4 of a mile, until you reach Gifford Avenue. Then turn right; 100 is in the middle of the block.

Previous exhibitions 2004:

Mark Dagley, June ~ July 2004

Tom Warren, August ~ September 2004

Alix Lambert, September ~ October 2004

Bill Schwarz, October ~ December 2004

Previous exhibitions 2005:

Steven Parrino, April ~ May 2005

Cora Cohen, May ~ June 2005

Paula Gillen, June ~ July 2005

Micheal Gentile, August ~ September 2005

Christine Krol & P. G. Six, September ~ October 2005


Our 2005 catalog is available here. Catalog

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