Michael Williams

March 31 - May 6, 2017
New York | 24th Street

Gladstone Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Michael Williams. This will be the artist’s first exhibition with Gladstone Gallery in New York.

Williams continues in the vein of recent digitally printed works but on a grander scale. While Williams enjoys the directness that comes from working digitally, he is also invested in the process of printing’s implied challenge to the doctrine of painting. By designing the content of his paintings in the digital environment, Williams both rejects the expressionistic dictum that painting is a direct extension of the body and reinvents it for the 21st century through the terms of computerized experience.

Williams is drawn to the sort of painterly impasse presented by the material and connotational conflicts of oil painting vs. computer printing. Blending drawn lines, stretched agglomerations of form, and translucent scrims of paint along the printed surface, Williams’ paintings situate us on an unlikely border between the familiar and the indecipherable. Williams’ work is simultaneously pluralistic and conceptual, extending and interrupting modernist formalism while assimilating the ironies and contradictions of daily life. The familiarity of his vocabulary in these paintings—houses, computers, spaceship interiors, the “COEXIST” symbol, and tubes of paint—is filtered through the artist’s wry sense of humor, ultimately achieving a reasoned entropy. 

Michael Williams was born in 1978 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In April 2017, Williams will be the subject of a major solo exhibition at The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Williams has exhibited his work at venues and institutions including: Secession, Vienna; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas; and the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow. In 2015, Williams held his first solo museum exhibition at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal in Montreal, Canada.