170 S. La Brea Avenue, (In the Art 170 Building), Los Angeles, CA 90036
Portentous but never pretentious, the remote and insular visions of loneliness that manifest throughout Edward Walton Wilcox's work are on full display in this overview of recent paintings. "When the anxieties of this world become too severe," he admits, "I create for myself . . . a reflection pool for the mind. It is there that I withdraw to the twilight fields and amber vistas of my dreams." All right, maybe just a tad pretentious, but Wilcox has talent and imagination for miles, so he's excused — besides, one rarely thinks of such timeless art coming from either the University of Florida or Juxtapoz. The eye swallows up his isolated apocalypses in miniature that glow with burnished fury as houses go up in flames and twilit sleepwalkers find themselves in the middle of nowhere. In Wilcox's spaces, no one can hear you scream — they just watch you do it in radiantly muted, sepia-toned slow-motion. His images bring to mind that old Night Gallery episode in which Roddy McDowall has a painting of a cemetery that changed every time he looked at it, until one night — in the ultimate culmination of implications associated with suddenly empty graves — he hears a knock at his door. Wilcox's work is a brilliant and romantic star hurtling through the same galaxy as fellow travelers Odd Nerdrum and Hieronymous Bosch, so if you like your aesthetic dread spiked with the imploding placid inevitable, then this is the art for you.