Selected Press

The New York Times, 1946

“If there has been more earnest and emotional painting shown this season than the somber canvases by Ben Wilson at Galerie Neuf, it has escaped my attention. Wilson is frankly an expressionist and his groups of spiritually and physically dispossessed people personify the dread social upheaval of the era.“

The American Hebrew, 1946

“In the plethora of exhibitions which crowd the New York art calendar, now and then a painter stands out and the spectator says to himself, ‘Here is a painter to watch.’ Ben Wilson is such a painter… Ben Wilson cannot be categorized or placed within any school of painting. Beginning as an academician, becoming in turn an impressionist, cubist, neo-romantic and finally expressionist, he has discarded all schools, and starting from scratch, sought and found a new and personal way of saying what he has to say. His work is the product of years of concentrated activity and passionate devotion to his art.”

Herald Tribune, 1957

“While Wilson’s serious message is evident in almost every painting he exhibits… his concern for modern structure and semi-abstract form in design is equally, if not considerably more, apparent to the observer.”

The Newark Sunday News, 1957

“One of the new season’s best and most thought provoking exhibitions.”

The Newark Sunday News, 1959

“What difference there appears in Ben Wilson’s mystically oriented visions. For one thing, they have moved further inwards from the picture frame into richer, brilliantly impastoed depth. If some have developed perhaps too close an affinity for abstraction, others are more lucid in the tale they have to tell… Wilson is one of our ablest painter-dreamers, and each canvas is a richly wrought cradle for a dream.”

Princeton Art Review, 1987

“Although the names Mario Garcia, Albert Kotin and Ben Wilson might not set off any immediate bells, they typify the abstract expressionist genre as well as point up the fact that the movement’s vocabulary was far from monolithic… Ben Wilson’s large canvases, while still within the abstract expressionist mode, retain echoes of Picasso, Braque, and even mechanistic elements of Fernand Leger… Although Abstract Expressionism as a movement has apparently been relegated to art history texts, its impact remains strikingly immediate.”

Bradenton Herald, 1994

“Ben Wilson’s large acrylic River of Time… is a strong utilization of mid-century American abstraction… In its composition, color and technical virtuosity, the painting is a paradigm of a historical style still capable of evoking fresh emotion.”

Sarasota Arts Review, 1996

“Some of Wilson’s most energetic expressionist work has been executed in the last few years and it is this work that Lyra Gallery will be exhibiting. Make an effort to see it—Wilson’s cryptic work invited deciphering and comprehension. This is one show not to be missed.”

Pelican Press (Sarasota), 2002

“Ben Wilson’s works are essays in paint. He studied in Paris and New York. He absorbed the lessons of the Cubists, the Surrealists and Abstract painters of the 20th century, and then he created his own vocabulary that pays homage to no one in particular. Ben’s paintings are about the process of painting. He creates a structure of paint with strokes as he builds up layers. The end result is an exceedingly pleasing, arresting and then absorbing surface for us to ponder.”

The Jewish Press, 2008

“Ben Wilson’s 65 years of making images took him many places along the aesthetic highway. His early training could not anticipate his deep devotion to abstraction and yet his background in academic drawing is certainly found in the fluid and expressive line that dominates many of his non-objective works. But perhaps the most constant element that runs through Wilson’s work is his sensitivity… Wilson was consistently a raw nerve, a bellwether in assessing the moral and emotional state of the world. His paintings were the battleground upon which the artist struggled with himself and a world profoundly unredeemed. His art was a way to reconcile this terrible contradiction.”

Brooklyn Rail, 2017

“The artist’s late works, such as Byzantium (1984) and Mycenae (1985), do parallel the rise of Neo-Expressionism in New York and Europe at the time, but also retain classic Cubist compositional aspects that express in their colors and linear scaffolding a buoyant musicality similar to work by Paul Klee or Wassily Kandinsky.” Read more…

Art Week, 2017

“In the 1950s [Wilson’s] abstracted figures morphed into a more symbolic, expressive style that nevertheless retained a suggestion of figuration. Over the next decade, like many advanced American artists of the period, Wilson moved away from the figure entirely and into a layered geometric abstraction that featured energetic line and vibrant color. These paintings represent Wilson’s mature production, and in them he embraced the freedom of a fully developed personal aesthetic.” Read more…

Art Times Journal, 2017

“It is difficult to experience the traumas of one’s time in constant feeling and expression. Yet Wilson is endlessly and powerfully interpreting. The later work, though abstract, never abandons social justice. If he fragments and collapses space, the artist questions….The past is not forgotten, but reborn, in increasingly vivid hues that lean toward the future.” Read more…