Kent Williams has built up a formidable reputation as a powerful contemporary painter.
His is a bold realism with combined attributes of abstraction and neo-expressionistic sensibilities. His work is characterized by strong gestural forms combined with areas of arresting detail, rendered with rich dynamic brushwork.
Williams’ approach to his subjects is often subjective and intense. Whether through multi-figured compositional complexity and suggestive narrative, or with the straight-forward lone human form, there is often autobiographical narrative at play. Favorite models, friends, and the artist himself all play a role in the human story of his paintings.
Williams lives in Los Angeles. He has two sons, Kerig Sun and Ian Kai.
”Kent Williams: Native Bone and Far to Home comprises more than thirty drawings and paintings by acclaimed painter, Kent Williams (American, b. 1962). Williams’ work is characterized by strong gestural forms combined with areas of arresting detail, rendered with rich dynamic brushwork. Whether focusing on the lone human form or creating multi-figured, complex compositions, Williams’ friends, family members, favorite models, and the artist himself, all play a role in his often autobiographical or suggestive narratives.
Art critic Peter Frank notes a development in Williams, particularly evident in the more recent work in this exhibition: What seems to have begun as intimate portrayals in homey bedrooms or studio set-ups have become cyclones of image and effect, tossing seas of honed brushstrokes upon which personal effects bob and crash, even while the sitter at the eye of the storm regards his or her surroundings, and/or the painter and audience, with an unnerving sanguinity…They pose and ponder amidst their household cataclysms, as if in control of, or perhaps even the source for, the tornados threatening to engulf them.
Further, this exhibition, primarily focused on the last five years or so, depicts Williams’ recent obfuscation of the figure, as attributes of abstraction have become increasingly more important in his practice”.