Nicholas Wilder’s fourteen-year list of exhibitions reads like a tour of a contemporary art cathedral from the 1960s and ’70s. From April of 1965 to December 1979, the gallery exerted a quiet force of innovative elegance with show after show of work that (whether commercially viable or not) gained the respect for Nick Wilder’s instinctively brilliant eye. Early shows of artists as diverse as Richard Tuttle, John McCracken, Dan Flavin, and Bruce Nauman were succeeded by exhibitions of innovative new work by seasoned art veterans such as Agnes Martin, Cy Twombly, Hans Hofmann and Sam Francis.
Nicholas Wilder (1937-1989) was so admired by his peers and colleagues that this is the second multi-gallery tribute exhibition to commemorate his career. In 1990 the Stuart Regen Gallery, Asher-Faure Gallery, and Gemini G.E.L. collaborated on the first such exhibition in Los Angeles. Not long afterwards plans for our show began to percolate after conversations with artist Joe Goode. Goode helped set these plans in motion when he passionately described his early interactions with Nick Wilder – how Wilder encouraged and even helped finance his early work, and how he soon after did the same for Goode’s colleague, Bruce Nauman. Goode’s comments about the nature of Wilder’s approach to running a gallery proved even more intriguing, and we moved on to discuss plans for this show – WILDER. Katherine Bishop Crum, one of the original partners of the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, was introduced to our gallery about a year ago and thus we moved forward with the plans initiated with Joe Goode.
This is not a show about the life of Nick Wilder, but a show that attempts to give back, if only in reflection, a parcel of the life he brought to the Gallery world. For so many of the artists Wilder showed there is an extraordinary level of appreciation for what the experience of being part of his gallery afforded them.
This joint exhibition at Franklin Parrasch Gallery and Joan T. Washburn Gallery on the seventh and eighth floors of 20 West 57th Street surveys the highlights of the fourteen-year span of Nicholas Wilder Gallery. In this exhibition are works from the periods corresponding with the dates of Wilder shows including works by Peter Alexander, John Altoon, Jo Baer, Billy Al Bengston, Dan Christensen, Ron Davis, Tony Delap, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Joe Goode, Robert Graham, Robert Helm, George Herms, David Hockney, Hans Hofmann, Agnes Martin, Allan McCollum, John McCracken, John McLaughlin, Clark Murray, Gwynn Murrill, Bruce Nauman, Barnett Newman, Helmut Newton, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Ken Price, Richard Tuttle, and Cy Twombly.
Wilder will be on view at Franklin Parrasch Gallery and Joan T. Washburn Gallery from April 22nd through May 27th, 2005. An essay by Katherine Bishop Crum, as well as images of Wilder’s gallery will be featured in our on-line catalogue available beginning April 21, 2005 at www.nicholaswildergallery.com. For images, biographies and further information on this exhibition please contact Holly Brown at (212) 246-5360, Joan T. Washburn Gallery at (212) 397-6780 or log onto the gallery’s website at www.franklinparrasch.com.