Tom Wilson is an intense, talented realist painter from Lewes, Del., a quiet, flat town situated spectacularly on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal and the Delaware Bay. His works obviously need better treatment than they get at The Best of Everything in Georgetown -- they are crammed into a corner amidst a hodgepodge of handicrafts, and a particularly beautiful one is simply leaned against a wall, easy prey for an errant shoe -- but they very much deserve attention.
Like Washington's Brockie Stevenson, although on a smaller scale, Wilson paints homespun American buildings and street scenes in the Precisionist tradition. In Wilson's hands the typical becomes the extraordinary. Thus everything in a tightly composed oil painting such as "Dairy Queen II" -- every stone, every sign, every telephone line, every plank in a clapboard house -- becomes an object of pristine purity. It is a world of preternatural cleanliness, transformed by the awesomely subtle light that is the chief glory of Lewes and that Wilson has skillfully employed to create his own special, luminist domain. Two other paintings deserve singling out: "Pickup" (as in truck) and "The School Bus."
The Best of Everything, 3231 P St. NW, is open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. No closing date was given for Wilson's show.