Wilkes’s installation pieces, for which she became well known in the last two decades, often suggest strangely altered domestic scenes, or moments of intense emotion. Sculpted and found objects are often massed in clumped arrangements, or dispersed against walls or on the floor. Highly crafted figurative elements made from clay or plaster combine with vitrine-like structures, mass-produced objects such as cell phones, and domestic items like jam jars, mixing bowls, vegetable peelers, or her children’s clothing. In later installations, Wilkes began incorporating paintings—affixed to structures and figures within the sculptures, and as elements hung on walls. Recently, the canvases have gained new levels of independence. Wilkes’s small paintings use complex color combinations, abstraction, and an intuitive geometry that evoke both the corporeality of her sculptures and the highly varied textures of her sculpture. Her paintings have also incorporated word fragments and phrases, as well as inexpensive pieces of china, dried flowers, and other objects.
The exhibition is the 67th edition of the museum’s Forum series, which extends the mission of the Carnegie International in connecting local audiences to a global network of important international contemporary artists.