Heather Wilcoxon
Bio/CV | Website | #heatherwilcoxon

Gail Spaien & Heather Wilcoxon: October 2023
Unsettled Waters:
Solo, March - April, 2020, studio e
Organic Archival: Dec - Jan, 2020, studio e
Her Truth: Fresno Art Museum, 2020
1 ROOM: August 2018, at The Avalara Hawk Tower during the Seattle Art Fair.

Heather Wilcoxon lives and works in the Bay Area. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1988. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her work is in several permanent collections including The American University Museum, Washington DC, The Fine Arts Museum, Auchenbach Foundation of Graphic Arts in San Francisco, the De Saisset Museum and Triton Museum in Santa Clara and the Di Rosa Preserve in Napa, California. She has received several fellowship awards. Two from the Pollock/ Krasner Foundation, New York. Three painting grants from the Buck Foundation in Marin County and a residency fellowship from the Djerassi Artist Residency Program and The Stonehouse Artist Program in California as well as recently winning the 2019 Distinguished Women in the Arts Award from the Fresno Art Museum.

Wilcoxon’s abstract works are imbued with the sensation of a quest, both across the surface, and deep below. Like an ancient mariner, Wilcoxon fearlessly voyages into the interior of perception (she paints from memory, as though with her eyes closed), tapping into the subconscious where things never are what they seem.

Wielding light of Turneresque quality, Wilcoxon’s colorful surfaces are foregrounded by strong, thick lines that might serve as navigation tools, apparently representing familiar shapes and objects. But the lines, interacting with the color fields, prevent any kind of singular interpretation. A ribcage emerging from a nighttime seascape, dominated by an enormous wave, does not quite match the rest of the barely perceptible boat; a reflection of a flooded house door in the midst of a field of gently colored water does not quite match the door; a white spool’s thread on a dark surface is not quite attached to the spool, reaching out into the night with its many loose ends. As the romantic meets the surreal, seeing may, at a certain depth point, be replaced with sensing. Wilcoxon’s work is an invitation to question what is being perceived, to move inward beyond the singularity of meaning, to uncover the indescribable—an emotion perhaps— and be unafraid. Accepting means no less than being submersed into the unsettled waters of Wilcoxon’s painterly vision, expertly stirred by her oil and mixed media technique.

-Elena Deem