Andy Moon Wilson’s drawings are smaller and friendlier than the work of his cited influences—Simon Gouverneur and Anni Albers’s work possesses a stolid here-ness, confronting the viewer with an inscrutable but persistent gaze as if to say, “ I am a gate; you are on both sides of this elaborate gate.” As well-worked terrain, the genre of geometrical abstraction still seems to stare back, inviting and rejecting the viewer’s stare, setting up a hypothetical situation where entrance and differentiation is possible.
Wilson’s most recent work doesn’t really gaze back—instead, colors and images hover as mirage-like webs. Maybe this lack of reciprocation results from an educated viewer’s over-exposure to contemporary artistic mediums and references, or maybe the effect is based on the implicit relationship that contemporary users have with the Internet, a medium that requires less bodily interaction and favors anonymous trolling. Entitled 10 X 10, Wilson’s third solo exhibition at Get This! Gallery, the show consists of 22 mixed media works on paper that adhere to a small non-representational format, despite Moon’s interest in highly-populated, nested doodles in his peripheral bodies of work [March 2-April 20, 2013].
Laserwarrior, Wilson’s prior 2010 showing at Get This! included 550 small mixed media works whose images and text were said to act as “phrase triggers” in which imagery represents concepts allowing the viewer to associate—or “hypertext link”—to ideas at random. 10 X 10 claims a more restrained impetus. But in rhetorically jettisoning pretensions for this current show, the work misplaces its strong points in artistic precursors that deal more with physical objecthood rather than flat illusion.
One of the most compelling drawings (all are Untitled, 2010-2013) in the show is striated, segmented, and saturated into highly keyed and elongated interlocking units. Patterns of analogous hues emerge and sink back into a frenetic environment, inviting the viewer to contemplate a virtual space.
Another drawing uses interlaced units in a central and symmetrical composition. A submerged system seems to be at work, bringing to mind the precisionism of Charles Demuth. Among the carefully drawn and colored tableaus, a face momentarily forms from clashing networks and lines of sight forming a cat’s cradle of intersecting visibilities. Primary hues temper the maelstrom and lend an explicit reference to process. Although the work is obviously handmade, the most potent color harmonies of the collection minimize any self-reference to the artist.
Some drawings in the exhibition have a more improvisational feel. One such drawing includes compositional linear elements that intersect in a hatched formation. The negative areas between elements are filled with flashing primaries and recessed blacks. Black areas provide spatial depth and anchor the harmony.
Wilson’s background as a rug designer is evident in the exhibition, as the majority of the drawings alternate between three rough categories: interlacing skeins, pixilated patchworks, and tiled works. The tiled works are subdivided into 100 doubled-paned windows, each containing a composition that either relates to the larger composition or doesn’t. The gridded works that don’t relate have an unfledged spacial quality; the panes have a deadening effect and the physical limitation of the pen creates a disjoint where the line quality breaks from the overall character of the exhibition. One gridded work with tiles that relate to the entire composition, features a centrally placed ‘X’ with strategically pigmented parts. Black functions as shade and alternatively light colors act as highlights. Misplaced tiles impute another dimension of movement. Arched, zigzagged, and crisscrossing elements have both a fixed and dynamic quality. Like elements attached to the planar surface of a pinball board, the abstract architecture pivots and fluctuates within the confines of the edges of the work.
Despite their shortcomings, all the works in the exhibition depict a just-shallow-enough virtual space, with layers both stacked within each work and between the discrete works themselves. The area outside of the decaled edges doesn’t seem to matter. They are to be interfaced and shuffled. No entrance is needed.