For immediate release:
Figures & Vessels
June 22 – July 15, 2016
Friday, June 24, 6-9 PM
Brooklyn, NY – ART 3 gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition Figures & Vessels featuring works by Australian-based painter and ceramist Justin Williams. Shown widely in Australia, this will be Williams’s debut solo exhibition in New York, as well as, his first with the gallery. On view at ART 3 gallery, 109 Ingraham Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn, from June 19 to July 15, 2016, Wed-Sat 12-6 PM, Sun 1-5 PM. The opening will take place on Friday, June 24, from 6-9 PM.
Transcending the whispers of local folklore and urban legend, Justin Williams’s artworks are raw, subversive, and primal while simultaneously being idyllic, mystical, and sublime. His imagery includes expressionistically rendered figures and animals often engulfed with luscious and vibrantly jewel toned foliage. The artist grew up living and working in the Dandenong Ranges just east of east of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Known for its towering Mountain Ash trees and sheltered fern gullies, this mild and wet mountain range and rainforest covers the remains of an extinct volcano. This topography, that of unruly bramble and dew on leaves just after a thunderstorm features heavily in Williams’s paintings.
Perhaps an outsider, definitely an observer, Williams’s draws from both personal experience and that of the community—a town’s resident oddballs and verbal histories. Finding their way in, like a glimpse out the corner of your eye, or a vivid remnant of a recent dream, these narratives weave through his work, a tumbling id tempered by the artist’s definitive vision. This tension of universal with particular can often be seen through Williams’s pictorial rendering. Figures will have a distinctive wrist or knotted ankle while peering out through a masked or mistily veiled face, having a briskly drawn torso, or hauntingly transparent limb. However poetically universal their appeal, the curiously specific details and stories of Williams’s cast of characters makes them utterly unique.
Coming from a structured background as an illustrator, Williams has been able to break this mold and be open, experimental, and honest. The layered styles and languages of his paintings can be seen in the works of his mentors such as Matisse and Picasso. His bright fauvist marks are the result of raw pigment. He works from base colors and builds up layers of paint, thick meaty marks, scratching and carving away as needed, while leaving delicately layered translucent passages.
Williams’s ceramic sculptures are an important part of his body of work and are often exhibited alongside his paintings. They break away from pictorial or decorative constraints while sharing an active hand. Inspired by the Japanese tradition of wabi-sabi tea-bowl making, (beauty in imperfection), in which hundreds of bowls are thrown to have a handful selected. There is a lack of preciousness and emersion in the process of making that creating in this way breeds. Williams’s process embraces both this lack of ego and revelry in happy accidents.
Justin Williams was born in 1985 and received a Bachelor of Communication and Design, Majoring in Printmaking and Illustration from Swinburn University in 2004. The artist lives and woks in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. He has held numerous solo exhibitions including Viridian, 2014, Anna Pappas Gallery, Melbourne; Mountain I Miss You, 2013, Mild Manner, Brisbane; and A Touch of Norway, 2012, Lapis Lazuli Pop Up Factory Gallery, Melbourne. His selected group exhibitions include the Melbourne Art Fair in 2014; Project 14: Free Range, 2014, Anna Pappas Gallery; Trouble in Paradise, 2012, Paradise Hills Gallery, Melbourne; and Group Show, 2012, Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne. He has been featured in Artist Profile, Australian Creative and New York Arts Magazine.
ART 3 gallery is a dynamic contemporary art gallery located in Bushwick's vibrant arts district. Established in February 2014 by Silas Shabelewska, formerly of Haunch of Venison (Christie’s) and Helly Nahmad Gallery NY. The gallery focuses on works by emerging and mid-career artists. Please contact ART 3 for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org