Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rachel Eulena Williams

A giant rhizome connects the artists of New York City, and it helps keep my project alive and growing. I have been following the various offshoots, as I pass from one studio to the next, since the beginning. A mutual friend introduced me to Rachel Williams awhile back, knowing that I wouldn't be able to resist drawing her paintings and color activated wall formations. Over the course of Rachel and my visit recently we discovered a shared obsession with Joan MirĂ³, both having made the pilgrimage to Barcelona to visit his museum and hometown. We even met up again a week later to gush over his paintings at The Met, and then MoMA. The connections that root artists together have not only lead me to exciting new subjects to draw, but also a chance to see old favorites through the eyes of a new friend.

You can virtually feel the curve of line that Williams articulates with her paint-saturated ropes as they wind dynamically around her cut up shapes of canvas. She is actualizing form and color by bringing abstraction to alternate dimensions. Working from drawings, her wall formations become a real life representation of her linear fantasies. Quickly drawn marks are exaggerated as they are reproduced and lay across large shapes which change color, like translucent paint layered on a piece of paper. Her canvasses, on the other hand, depict jumbled up lines that twist in and out of fields of blues and purples, sometimes contrasted with a burnt orange. The landscape that is alluded to allows her roller coaster structures to become even more three-dimensional. Her passion for MirĂ³ is visible in her work, as are echoes of more recent artists like Elizabeth Murray, but Williams is fully engaging with a new visual language that is very much her own.

We ended up continuing our studio day into the night by going to a performance at Magenta Plains and then out for papusas on Essex Street. I hope for more summer hangs and I look forward to everything that is coming out of Williams' studio. Keep a look out for her.