Sue Williams retrospective at REGEN Projects
November 10 - December 22, 2011
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 10, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and collages by New York artist Sue Williams. This exhibition, a retrospective of Williams’ work from 1990 to the present day, will illustrate the formal and thematic courses she has historically drawn upon and subverted in her work.
Sue Williams’ early work echoed and argued with post-feminist dialogues on gender politics and the discourse of the body. Employing a cartoon-like style, her paintings employed humor and satire in their depiction of gruesome acts of sexual violence to address issues of sexual objectification, sadomasochism, feminity, violation, and abasement. This was followed by a period where sexual attributes (orifices and genitalia) were concealed amongst brushstokes of alleged abstraction. Her work then moved to total abstraction - elegant linear passages of graceful arabesques in space. The brushed and poured lines became the subject occupying an empty background. Figuration slowly returned to Williams’ compositions in fragmented abstractions of the human form. These lyrical baroques catch different anatomical details and organic forms in their fluid and elegant web.
Williams utilized the traditionally patriarchal domain of painting to simultaneously parody male dominated painterly archetypes while breaking through the medium’s formal barriers. Sue Williams’paintings merge the distinct and seemingly disparate styles of figurative representation and lyrical abstraction, combining and slipping between the two while avoiding the limitations of the genres. The line in her work is constantly in flux and is neither compelled toward depiction nor limited from it. Form, color and the resulting spaces of presence and absence prevail to create humorous, ironic, witty, and sublime explorations of the process of abstract painting.
"Like many artists of her generation, Williams is taking on important themes in her work regarding art’s further limits as an expressive medium. If she chooses to approach these themes by parodying current modes of representing the human body, this is because these discomfort zones seem to point across the expanse of human consciousness, indicating clearly enough that the best route to artistic revelation is that which crosses forbidden territory…”
(Dan Cameron. “Sue Williams” in Sue Williams: Art for the Institution and the Home, published by Secession and Ivam, 2003, p. 40)
Williams’ work has been the subject of exhibitions throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. Solo exhibitions include the Secession, Vienna, Austria; IVAM, Valencia, Spain; the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach, Florida; Centre d’art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; and the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California.
An opening reception for Sue Williams will take place on Thursday, November 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.