Sara Roffino reviews a recent show of paintings by Peter Williams at Novella Gallery, New York.
Roffino writes: "If one were to glance briefly at Williams’s works, the bright palette and carnivalesque scenes might belie the violence depicted. And, even after spending time with the paintings, processing that violence and thinking about the very real murders they depict, the elements of humor allow the viewer an out. Though the moment of Eric Garner’s death is depicted in 'Untitled' (30-by-40 inches), the brutal violence of that moment is offset both formally and ideologically with a close-up of the police officer’s pink (and hairy) butt crack, bulging forth from his belted uniform. It’s a challenging—perhaps subversive—gesture Williams is offering to his viewers, the absurdity softening the potentially didactic nature of the works."
William Eckhardt Kohler reviews an exhibition of paintings by Peter Williams, on view at Foxy Production, New York, on view through March 23, 2013.
Kohler writes: "The paintings of Peter Williams... are, in no particular order, hallucinogenic, acerbic, pained, beautiful, confessional, obsessive, critical, jarring, wild, weird and profoundly human. They are born from Williams' experiences of race, appetite and physical vulnerability. The visual lexicon is a heady blend of psychedelic color, abstract pattern, and cartoon-manic imagery... The beauty of these paintings is that they never fall into finger pointing or polemical politics, which tend to either preach to the converted, fall on deaf ears or let the complacent, liberal, art-world viewer off the hook. Through playful form, seductive color and an apparently populist cartoonyness, Williams invites us to live with uncomfortable, unanswerable questions. "
John Yau blogs about an exhibition of paintings by Peter Williams at Foxy Productions, New York, on view through March 23, 2013.
Yau writes: "The colors [in Williams' paintings] are reminiscent of both India and the child’s board game Candyland, but the world Williams depicts, and this includes the abstract paintings, is a vulnerable one where everything has either gone haywire or is about to. In the figurative paintings, where imaginary creatures populate a flat, abstract realm, viewers are apt to feel that they are privy to the artist’s dreams — or are they nightmares? — fantasies, memories, desires and free associations. Fear and jauntiness coexist in Williams’ tumultuous world, which is unlike anyone else’s."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.