Tatyana Geneste approached Stamford artist Robert Wilson during a recent opening reception and asked him to sign a featured work. Not his — hers. The 13-year-old had been inspired by Wilson’s paintings to make her own creation.

Wilson, for whom black is a signature palette, likes that his choices inspire budding artists. “I like chunky, I like dark. Black is my favorite color.” Like him, youngsters don’t see black as a limiting hue, he says. “They see the colors coming through. They don’t see black as dark and moody.”

Wilson’s abstract expressionist works are on display at the Fernando Luis Alvarez Gallery, 96 Bedford St. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 4 to 8 p.m. It is Wilson’s first solo New England exhibition.

“He’s an individual who says a lot with so little in his work,” says gallery owner/exhibit curator Fernando Alvarez, who met Wilson last fall. Wilson is a native of Chicago. He’s a lifelong artist who has held a variety of jobs to support his work. He lived on the West Coast before coming to Stamford about eight years ago, when wife Carla’s job transfer brought the couple here.

Family members are among Wilson’s biggest fans. Son Rainn, an actor on the hit NBC-TV show “The Office,” made the trip to Stamford for an opening reception Feb. 11.

Wilson passed his love of art to his son. Now painting in gouache, Wilson is fascinated by the work of Willem de Kooning and other New York School abstract expressionists. But Mark Tobey is his “favorite painter of all time” because of his unconventional context.

“He wanted to smash form. I was very impressed by that. In a sense I want to put form back together, but in a universal context, so children can relate to it,” Wilson says.

The exhibit may be seen through March 18.

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