San Francisco

Pamela Wilson

Anglim Gilbert Gallery

Collapse and catastrophe are timeless themes but also define the moment in which we find ourselves. “Democratic” elections, war, natural disaster, and misguided economic policy are disheartening realities that blend into a shifting cultural backdrop. This is the context of our times, yet the images with which the media bombards us are not without precedent: The rubble of a bombed building is a universal image, and the devastation left by a tsunami doesn’t look so different from the aftermath of any other sort of disaster. Pamela Wilson’s paintings are rooted in catastrophes’ basic sameness, yet she refuses to ignore the potential for visual pleasure offered by her chosen medium. In “Before and After,” her San Francisco debut at Gallery Paule Anglim, Wilson presented paintings and watercolors in which beauty emerged out of chaos.

Most notable among the motifs in the exhibition were images

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