Michael Williams

Michael Williams, BFA01

Known for richly layered paintings that incorporate a wide range of media, imagery, styles, and techniques, painter Michael Williams explores the nature of, the boundaries between, and tensions within the painted surface.

Born in Doylestown, PA, Williams graduated from the Sam Fox School in 2001 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture. He spent the next decade and a half in New York and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

In the last few years, Williams has evolved from making large gestural oil paintings to similarly scaled paintings printed with a billboard-sized inkjet printer. Williams has spoken about having to develop a new criteria for judging the inkjet printed paintings. Painterly affectations and the struggle of the process of their creation are planed down to surfaceless memories of the event of painting. Evidence of the painter's decision-making is withheld.

Despite the drastic shifting of materials, there is a warmth and personal quality that persists in the presence of the printed paintings. Williams summons a large catalogue of imagery generated through a dedication to drawing and a mining of his psyche. The images and subjects that recur in the paintings are often comically reporting on the state of modern life.

There is a refusal in Williams' work to pick sides. Instead of pitching a tent in one of painting's traditional camps, Williams looks for a place in the woods where he might have to clear a few rocks first. This is an essentially political choice by Williams.

Williams' work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at venues including Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal and Gallery Met in New York. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH; and Ballroom Marfa in Texas.

Williams is represented by CANADA, New York; by the Gladstone Gallery in New York and Brussels; and by Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.