The use of words holds a special place in the work of John Wilcox. Words served as symbols. They were catalysts. Plays on words and the arrangements of letter conveyed different layers of meaning. In the third installation in The Wilcox Space, Leigh Arnold curates a selection of works on paper and canvas in which the artist uses text. Focusing on a five-year period of Wilcox’s career that begins during the artist’s time in New York City, the works reflect his experience witnessing the ravages of the AIDS epidemic, as well as the challenges and fears he faced when confronted with his own diagnosis. While earlier drawings are minimal and tend to focus more on word play, later works are far more private conveying themes of hope, healing and faith. The installation comprises many works that have never been exhibited before and sheds new light on just how many dimensions there are to this particular aspect of Wilcox’s body of work and his sensibilities as an artist.
Leigh Arnold is Assistant Curator at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas. She was guest curator for Robert Smithson in Texas and co-curator for DallasSITES: Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present, both 2013 exhibitions at the Dallas Museum of Art. Additionally, Arnold has organized exhibitions at CentralTrak: The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency & Gallery and Gray Matters Gallery.
The works are installed at the Wilcox Space and will be on view to the general public during this opening. Viewings at other times will be by appointment only through Barry Whistler Galley, Dallas, Texas.