Barry Whistler Gallery is pleased to present two exhibitions opening June 24, 2023: John Wilcox, Phoenix / Selected paintings 1977 - 2007, and Luke Harnden: At Sea !, recent paintings.

Barry Whistler Gallery has represented the work of John Wilcox since 1986. Wilcox passed away in 2012 at the age of 57 due to HIV complications.

John Wilcox grew up in Denison, Texas, spending his formative years in California and later in New York at the height of the AIDS crisis, returning to Texas in 1990. This exhibition of 17 paintings celebrates the release of a six-volume catalog of Wilcox’s work done, in collaboration with the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art history at the University of Texas at Dallas and the Ioannes Project. Copies of the limited-edition catalog will be available at the gallery.

Luke Harnden, a Texas native, and now Los Angeles-based, is an MFA graduate of the California Institute of the Arts (2019.) A survey of Harnden‘s work recently closed at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas. The exhibition led to Harnden’s first museum acquisition. Harnden‘s paintings use a lenticular process which mimics CRT television screens, incorporating stencils and photographic imagery. The images flow and develop, depending upon the viewers, distance, and engagement. The new works are both representational and abstract as Harnden considers photography through this lens of painting.

Wilcox’s work has embraced a wide range of disciplines including his own iconic imagery while working in California during the early 1980’s. The late 1980’s and early 1990’s, he focused on the Aids epidemic and his experience of that while living In New York. This period included large pointillist canvases, followed by methodically layered monochromatic works. Frances Colpitt, who holds the Deedie Rose Chairs of art history at TCU wrote in 2010: “Wilcox’s expressive process imparts meaning through every thoughtful mark, conveying discipline restraint and above all humility.”1

The stylistic diversity that both of these artists incorporated in their work was first shared in 2017. In the spring of 2017 Luke Harnden presented a solo exhibition of his work in Dallas, Texas at the Box Co...

Accompanying Harnden’s work is a selection of six drawings by the late Dallas-based artist, John Wilcox.

Known for his introverted practice that spawned a deeply personal visual language, Wilcox found his artistic footing during a two-year sojourn to the California coastal town of Carpinteria in the early 1980s, deliberately sequestering himself from the art world so he could better listen to his own intuition. Made during that time, the drawingsfeature hundreds ofsmall repetitive marks, tightly arranged, and layered into dense black squares.

Luke Harnden’s algorithmic paintings and Wilcox’s drawings employ a systematic process of recursion to create undulating patterns that shift within themselves in endless feedback loops.2


1 From John Wilcox: New York City, 1988-89, by Frances Colpitt, (Deedie Rose Chair of Art History at TCU; Corresponding Editor for Art in America).
2 From Box Co Essay, 2017. by Daniele Avram (SP/N Gallery Director, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Contemporary Galleries and Museum Studies. At U.T. Dallas).