Nashville-based artist Kelly S Williams returns to David Lusk Gallery Nashville for her third solo show. In Stars Align, Williams’ paintings on birch feature a different compelling pattern and composition stemming from a long-time relationship to patterning, quilting and fabric. H
“Stars Align is a command, an invocation. Perhaps the paintings leapt off the walls and aligned themselves together, paired or matched, onto that single wall just prior to you entering the space. Perhaps they will re-configure themselves again, making new connections amongst their imagery or patterning when the gallery is dark. Perhaps two stars leapt off the wall and collided in mid-air, resulting in the sculpture, the only other work in the space. In the context of the tondos and single sculpture as an installation, the paintings stand for individual stars, another moment of the metaphor that pleases me.”
Often working on several things simultaneously, Williams cultivates her practice by shifting between the tondos’ strict schedule and the flexibility of a still-life or a landscape. Once the oil paint is applied to the birch panel, the paintings have to be re-worked before drying completely. She sets in a nail and begins systematically scraping away the top layer of paint to reveal an intricate pattern. The tight, meticulous and repetitive nature is reminiscent of rituals and habits.
Williams lives in Nashville. She graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Studio Art and from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2004 with her MFA. She has attended and participated in numerous residency programs nationally and internationally, such as the Yale Summer School for Art and Music and the Terra Foundation in Giverny, France. She had been awarded many grants and awards including the WK Rose Fellowship in 2002 and the Carrell Artist Award in 2010.