Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk is the first major survey of the acclaimed local artist. The exhibition distills essential pieces from Wosk’s exuberant lifework to trace the arc of her explorations into the connections among nature, human consciousness, aesthetics, and spiritual transcendence. Wosk worked prolifically across disciplines. She began her career in New York as a commercial illustrator for such prominent publications as Ms. Magazine and the New Yorker and then settled in Santa Monica to refine her art practice. The survey culminates in Wosk’s massive collages whose encrusted surfaces teem with a materiality that reveals the beauty and terror of life on both a molecular and a cosmic scale.
Wosk is best known for intricate paintings and collages that she often adorned with pearls, glitter, crystals, starfish, collaged images, and other vivid ornamentation. Many of her rich landscapes juxtapose skeletal figures with budding flowers, dense roots, and dazzling celestial imaginings, and her process of pouring, painting, airbrushing, gluing, embedding, and coating possessed a devotional, mantra-like repetition.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalog with introductions by architect Frank Gehry and designer Milton Glaser, an essay by artist Robert Kusher, and an interview between journalist Kristine McKenna and Wosk’s son Adam Gunther.
Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk is organized by Elsa Longhauser, executive director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art.