Chicago

Charles Wilson

Marianne Deson Gallery

Charles Wilson’s dramatic installation of drawings, sculpture, and neon was saturated with the light from brilliant red illuminated inscriptions which were built into his pieces, and which picked out the titles and subjects like names on a movie marquee. The unlikely juxtaposition of cocktail-lounge atmospherics, tropical theatrics, and a World War II bomber was unexpectedly showy given the artist’s previous restrained, conceptually oriented photographic essays and sculpture, but was ultimately resolved, even homogenized, by the bath of warm light.

This exhibition marked the first stage of a strange and ambitious project which calls for the full-scale replication of the fuselage of a B-17, a relic of the recent past removed from the arena of nonart and recontextualized as emblematic of World War II. Even the neon that Wilson uses to reiterate the title of the beautifully rendered drawing

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