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Peter Williams

River of Styx

October 20 - December 21, 2018

Peter Williams Westward and Eastward, Neither At Least, 2018

Peter Williams
Westward and Eastward, Neither At Least, 2018
Oil based enamel and graphite on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams A Foolish Trick, 2018

Peter Williams
A Foolish Trick, 2018
Oil based enamel and graphite on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Four and Twenty Blackbirds, 2018

Peter Williams
Four and Twenty Blackbirds, 2018
Oil based enamel and graphite on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Wild Thing, I Think I Love You, 2018

Peter Williams
Wild Thing, I Think I Love You, 2018
Oil based enamel and graphite on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams A Blunt Message, The Truth, 2018

Peter Williams
A Blunt Message, The Truth, 2018
Oil based enamel and graphite on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Movie Queens, Pam Grier, 2018

Peter Williams
Movie Queens, Pam Grier, 2018
Oil based enamel, glitter and graphite on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Peter Williams Movement Women, Kathleen Cleaver, 2018

Peter Williams
Movement Women, Kathleen Cleaver, 2018
Oil based enamel, glitter and graphite on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Peter Williams Fierce Fighters, Angela Davis, 2018

Peter Williams
Fierce Fighters, Angela Davis, 2018
Oil based enamel, glitter and graphite on canvas
48 x 36 in.

Press Release

Even as some voices are routinely silenced, Peter Williams acknowledges that it is a privilege to speak and be seen.  Bearing witness to the times that we are living while honoring the lives and history of people of color, Williams’ new paintings build on four decades of his radical oeuvre with a renewed sense of urgency, defiantly calling out the violence and injustices that continue to be perpetrated against Black Americans and giving voice to those who stand up against hatred, corruption, and criminality.  

Taking its name from the Greek mythological goddess and the River Styx, the river that forms a border between the world of the living and Hades, the paintings in this exhibition weave together historical events, allegorical myths and creation stories with current events and Williams’ personal life experiences to address a range of subjects including oppressive social structures, white supremacy, police brutality, abuse of power, and political activism.

 

 

Created with oil-based enamel paint and pencil on canvas, Williams introduces a new painted dot technique that is a matrix of cultures and periods—from pointillism, folk art, and digital pixilation to Afrofuturism, Australian Aboriginal dot painting, and traditional African body scarification.  The readability of each painting is mitigated as the field of vibrant, colorful marks and amusing cartoonish forms are transformed into a spectral  vision caught in an endless moment of becoming or dissolving—a past, present and future in limbo.  The works challenge the viewer to make sense of what they are seeing and confront their own understandings of who we are as a people and a country.

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