international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Jean R Wilkey
Las Cruces, NM

University of Texas at El Paso


page 171


Painting has always been a part of my life. I paint to express what I feel and see and what I think about, which often concerns identity, memory, perception, and ideas about the purpose of life. My painting gives voice to my thoughts about material and spiritual existence, ideas of reality, and our relationship to the material and natural worlds.

I paint the human figure, animals, and manufactured objects, drawing on the traditions of figuration, memento mori and magic realism, to explore ideas of beauty and decay, life and death, and internal and external realms.

Formal elements in the work, such as the alternate light sources within the same picture plane, speak to multiple or varied perceptions of reality. The plants and animals, along with their manufactured counterparts point to our relationship with nature and commodity. Theatrical staging, specific poses, and compositional devices create a sense of non-specific narrative that is completed by what the viewer brings to the work. The paintings convey a sense of lush, chaotic beauty and mystery to reflect the complexity of who we are.


born: 1953, Fort Worth, Texas


New Mexico State University, MFA Painting
Texas A & M University, MEd Education
University of Texas at Arlington, BFA Art

selected awards/honors

Best interior, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Biennial: Contemporary American Realism, 2008
Award - Lucky #7 Biennial, SITE Santa Fe - Contributing artist for work by Scott Lyall, 2008
Nominee - Dedalus MFA National Merit Award in Painting, 2007

selected publications

Mary Anne Redding, "Commentary, Jean Reece Wilkey," Xhibit, pp15-21, 2010
Gail Leggio. "Art and Likeness: Realism in the Galleries," American Arts Quarterly 25/4, Fall 2008
Donald Kuspit & Annette Blaugrund, Contemporary American Realism, Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne Museum of Art  p. 111, 2008.
Mat Gleason, Animal Magnetism, Santa Ana, CA, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, 2008

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Two:2, Corbett Center Art Gallery, Las Cruces, NM, 2007
Unseen Realities, Corbett Center Art Gallery, Las Cruces, NM, 2006

selected group shows

Contemporary Realism Biennial, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN, 2010
Spring Exhibition, Preston Contemporary Art Center, Mesilla, NM, 2010
Guilty Pleasures, Projects Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, 2009
Thirteenth Biennial Oklahoma: Centerfold, Lawton, OK, 2008, Chickasha, OK, 2009

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