John Wilde

Milwaukee 1919 — 2006 Evansville

“Magical Realist” John Wilde applied sophisticated drawing and painting techniques to inventive compositions that combine references to early Netherlandish and Italian Renaissance art with images from the natural world. During more than three decades teaching drawing at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he imparted the venerable technical skills that underlie and anchor Surrealist fantasies sprinkled with frolicking nudes and festive characters that recall allegories by Hieronymus Bosch but without judgment hanging in the balance. Wilde was part of a group of mid-western artists who often congregated in the bohemian, jazz-infused atmosphere of painter Gertrude Abercrombie’s Chicago home.