REVIEW – Jigsaw Woodcuts by Sarah Wilson at Axolotl Gallery


Warm Up At Art History Lesson

Warm Up At Art History Lesson by Sarah Wilson

The work of versatile and original figurative artist Sarah Wilson impressed at Axolotl Gallery‘s Spring Exhibition.

Jigsaw Woodcuts is a new collection from Wilson, and – like Transferable Memories, her previously exhibited work – features juxtaposition, personal references and a sense of playfulness – even those which lift motifs from Picasso’s Guernica.

Wilson’s woodcuts are bold and dynamic, with large black areas jostling with suggestive line and form to create some striking compositions.

There are three themes on display, all of which carry Wilson’s distinctive – and in this case, literal – stamp. The works are at their most effective and interesting when printed on top of some of her old canvases and sketches, carrying on a long tradition of overpainting and recycling whilst at the same time summoning ghostly images which resonate in the compositions’ backgrounds.

Using this technique, Wilson suggests multiple meanings and emotions; most prevalent in her Guernica series, where Picasso’s details are taken out of context and float above softer and more peaceful images of female figures.

The Ladies That Lunch series is a striking collection of prints from two woodcuts: one set in the Fruitmarket Gallery, the other in the Dean Gallery. Strong, bold and expressive, their subject matter gives them a gently mocking and playful tone.

Warm Up At An Art History Lesson is an appealing series featuring Matisse-like nudes stretching and limbering, printed on top of what are presumably some of Wilson’s old life studies and sketches. Although their is no double meaning or symbolism in these compositions, the effect is beguiling and unique and the pieces have an understated impressionistic beauty.

Another impressive addition to Axolotl’s ever-expanding body of exhibited work, Jigsaw Woodcuts is well worth a trip to the Dundas Street-based gallery to view.

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