Edward Walton Wilcox and Todd Carpenter celebrated double openings on Saturday at Merry Karnowsky Gallery. “Sacred Intention” by Wilcox was his 6th solo exhibition with the gallery featuring his dark, hand-carved gothic style pieces starring nature’s predators. Watching over the show is his totem “Abraham Stilten in de Nederlands”, a solid sequoia tree carved entirely with a chainsaw that stands 9 feet tall. New oil on panel pieces such as “Predator” and “Candy Mountain” were created on handmade wood frames, then, placed on hand carved shelves.
Edward Walton Wilcox with his work on opening night.
His presentation is just as important as the paintings themselves, often removing the subject from its 2-dimensional world entirely to extend the narrative. A rowing Grim Reaper-esque character and hovering owls appear throughout, while circling birds imply something is amiss. It’s a familiar tale to his 2012 showing, “The Gilded Tantrum” (covered here), only this time, the monsters literally come out of the shadows. By combining these motifs with suspense from the natural world, Wilcox illustrates a spiritual journey.
Work by Todd Carpenter (detail).
In the next room, Todd Carpenter’s “Inseparate” adds to the mood with his black and white landscapes of forests and skies. Although painted with controlled strokes and infinite shades, his work appears abstract from a distance. Sometimes the light play is dramatic, while barely there in others. Carpenter’s gestures are reflected in the wooden installation that hangs from the ceiling. Where a mysterious spirit plays a role in Wilcox’s foreboding works, Carpenter creates impact with nature’s overwhelming emptiness.
“Sacred Intention” by Edward Walton Wilcox and “Inseparate” by Todd Carpenter exhibits at Merry Karnowsky Gallery from June 21 to July 19, 2014.