Seattle Post Intelligencer
P-I Art Critic Sept.15,1987
Brom Wikstrom's interest in painting has it's roots in his Seattle childhood. His father, an art director for a packaging company, influenced the boy, as did the tight and flowing lines of Northwest Coast Indian design.
Now in his mid-30s, Wikstrom has fashioned his own distinctive voice from a variety of sources, his father's lettering, French cubism filtered through Alexander Archipenko's dynamic constructivism and a long apprenticeship to the work of the late Seattle cubist painter, Wendell Brazeau.
A number of Wikstrom's small paintings and drawings now hang in the Boiserie Cafe of the Burke Museum, a room regularly used as a forum for contemporary art exhibits. Many aren't especially well-served in this enviroment of 18th-century French waxed pine paneling with decorative painting touches, but Wikstrom's work holds it's own.
Like the room itself, his drawings and paintings are elegant without being fussy, spacious on a small scale. He draws a kind of pictorial architecture, tight without being rigid, and each of his marks is a building block for his form.
In the painting titled "May 18," diagonals of hard, primary colors are lit with shafts of black tubing. Forms function both as figures and signs, locking down on each other.
His pencil drawings are contemporary minuets on paper, with various shades of furry shadows set against shafts of light.
In one beautiful gray-blue watercolor titled "Stepping Out," two figures made from Cezanne's cones, spheres and cylinders are bared to the bone of their meaning. They are in motion, and they are courting.
Wikstrom broke his neck in a swimming accident more than a decade ago and paints with a mouth wand. His work isn't remarkable because of his limitations but in spite of them. He's a good painter. However he produces his work, it holds up.