Artist Portfolio

Lucy Wilner

Artist Biography

I am a lifelong artist whose work has been shown nationally in both group and solo shows at venues such as the Bellevue Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum and, in New York, at galleries such as the Painting Center, the Woodward Gallery and Denise Bibro Fine Art. My most recent solo show was presented by the New York City Parks Department at Conference House Park in 2017.

My professional career started at the University of Chicago where I earned my BFA in studio art, specializing in stone lithography. I followed that with an MFA in painting from the University of Washington in Seattle.

During the heyday of Pop Art and Minimalism, I found a more personal direction, exploring themes that demanded observation and attention to detail. Tropical motifs, narrative and political content occupied me and found ultimate expression in my painting Monkeyshines, which was a two-year project, purchased by the Seattle Art Museum.

I continued to paint narratives throughout the eighties, placing figures in situations in which objects and spaces had evocative or symbolic associations. In the nineties, I turned to still life subjects. Those paintings were completely realistic, but unconventional, focusing on complex, unstructured arrangements of fabric and clothing.

I was represented first by the Lynn McAllister Gallery and later by the Kimzey-Miller Gallery, and had solo shows at both venues.

I added graphic design to my repertoire in the mid-nineties. I had an ideal first job at that time, enjoying total creative freedom as the art director of a regional tabloid art magazine. Part of the fun was making covers in Photoshop. After moving to New York, I worked in publishing as a book designer. I continue to love type and text and now often layer graphic motifs and text into my paintings.

My work is both representational and conceptual. I seek a sense of universality through focus on images that are particular and specific. The result is the creation of virtual worlds that are at once objective and mysterious.


I am motivated by the ambition to create a comprehensive kind of painting, one in which any particular image can be incorporated, without its being out of place. I also want my painting to seem convincingly three-dimensional, despite including several or many different spaces. And finally, I want it to have a kind of vastness or universality—in other words, for it to be, through the use of symbols and referents that enlarge its scope, a virtual cosmos.

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