#ToddWilliamson #Nashville #NashvilleArtsMagazine #NashvilleArts #ContemporaryArt #ContemporaryArtist
~It’s impossible not to feel a visceral shock when turning from Todd Williamson’s highly abstract depictions of ethereal emotions and sounds arising out of rigid, mathematical, underlying order to Luke Hillestad’s obsessively and unapologetically traditional figurative, narrative paintings in the manner of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Titian, and Apelles of Cos.
~From March 7 to 31, The Rymer Gallery premieres Williamson’s No Rhyme or Reason series concurrently with their continuing exhibition of Hillestad’s Anima series. For curator Herb Williams, this dichotomy is part of a concerted effort to deliver the most engaging aesthetic experience possible: “Looking at these two artists, they’re completely different. It really is like night and day. . . . I try to think of things that would make me want to get off the couch. You’ve got to create something that has power, something that’s different.”
~Williams thought back to his adolescence to explain his creative process. “I grew up in the cassette-tape world, and one of my favorite things to do as a kid was to make mix tapes for my friends,” he reflected as an eclectic mix of contemporary hits played over the speakers. He went on to identify his approach to curating visual arts as “a variation of that.” As Williams could tell you, to make a great mix you need a memorable track list, so he’s featuring two of the most captivating, if utterly dichotomous, artists of their respective scenes. Despite the apparent clash, Williams has found in these artists a commonality in their intense dedication to depicting the steady pulse of breath and life and the universally human emotions that unite us.
~Williamson, a Cullman, Alabama, native born in 1964, has exhibited works worldwide and currently serves as the Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioner of West Hollywood. His works are visions of the ephemeral human spirit that reverberates in thoughts and dreams. The colors and forms on the canvas vibrate in time with the emotional energies that emerge from below the depths of the ego, traced along the same waves that carry light and sound.
~The canvas itself is an extraordinary, unifying element in Williamson’s body of work as the artist chooses to paint his intangible forms on strictly partitioned surfaces. The immaterial seems to give way to the material, or vice versa. These grids are part of his synesthetic artistic vision. “The music staff is the perfect metaphor for my work,” he explains. “I believe that color, music, and numbers are all connected and must be addressed.” He goes on to say that “[the music staff] is the constraint that holds the idea and controls the chaos of the color and movement. . . The grids are what controls these emotions.”
"The Thought" 72x60 oil on canvas, "The Place", 72x60 oil on canvas, "The Idea", Oil on canvas, 72” x 60” 2014
Hillestad has devoted himself to realizing timeless narratives in his art, “the stories that repeat regardless of geopolitics.” The title of his new series, Anima, comes from the ancient Latin word for breath and life. “I want to paint characters that breathe and narratives that are living,” he explains. He brings his characters to life through “deliberate” and “earnest” figurative painting, recognizing that the process of creating and viewing art painted in the classical tradition “gives us practice in compassion.”
The artist uses his empathy and mastery of the human form to evoke a powerful sense of drama and character. Grotto, a depiction of “returning home after a catastrophe—the ritual of forgiveness,” carries extraordinary emotional weight. The artist’s skillful use of chiaroscuro pairs with the subject’s posture and wide eyes to suggest “willingness,” while a wild bobcat by her side symbolically portrays her “primal urge to fight or flee.” These elements converge to create a narrative told with tremendous pathos as she emerges from a troubled past. “With Anima,” Hillestad says, “I can pick the traits I admire from among the breathers—be they characteristically human or animal.”
Todd Williamson’s No Rhyme or Reason series and Luke Hillestad’s Anima series will be on exhibit at The Rymer Gallery March 7 to 31. For more information visit www.therymergallery.com.
Truly inspiring exhibition of Brad Eberhard @ Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles Projects. Loved this show!
With this being the first solo of Brad's work at LA Projects, the gallery took a big risk hanging a small work, 12''x12'' on a very large wall! The risk paid off handsomely. The piece is so beautifully painted and powerful that it commands the entire wall, if not the room.
The works are all "intimately" scaled as the gallery calls it but very powerful and beautifully painted. The work references Klee and Frankenthaler in the use of color and movement but has a buoyancy that is truly the artists. Lines and movement appear and disappear referencing the New York abstracts and the works strongly reference the symbols that were a part of Klee's work.
A painter's painter where a 1 foot ''tile" can hold your attention as you search for the subtext and the layers beneath the beautifully rendered surface.
Dont miss this!
by Todd Williamson
Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles Projects, 6006 Washington Blvd, Culver City CA 90232
#BradEverhard, #SusanneVielmetter, #CulverCity, #ScreenGems, #ToddWilliamson
*Premier Issue, Fall 2014 Pages 94 & 95
*excerpts from the original article by Joshua Stuart
In May ways, Todd Williamson, who grew up in Cullman with a passion for music and theatre, has made a much longer journey from that small Southern town. Even as a young man he dabbled in the arts, but it wasn't until around 1990, after he had moved to LS that he embarked on a serious and successful career as a painter whose work has been on show in Japan, China, Italy, Germany, Korea, and Spain as well as the United States.
Most of his contemporary work is characterized by lines, usually horizontal but sometimes vertical, sometimes waving and sometimes straight.
The lines control the emotion of the work and they give it a framework." Williamson said. "Because of my musical background, its like a staff of music, and I just put my notes on it."
Indeed, a review notes the musical allusions in Williamson's art. "at the epicenter of Todd Williamson's canvas there is an unmentioned but imagined perfect line, representing the similarity, the human-ness in us all, from which a kinetic, emotional pulse resonates," wrote Ken General of Houston's Wade Wilson Art. "This musical pulse, created from Williamson's use of color, texture, line, and space, appeals to and resonates with the reflective viewer, demanding a unique emotional response, just as music would to the ear."
In addition to creating art, Williamson promotes it in his role as an arts commissioner for the city of West Hollywood and as a member of the board of directors for the National Aids Monument to be erected in West Hollywood Park in 2016.
While his creativity has taken him around the world, Williamson seems most at home in his bungalow in West Hollywood an din the small studio in the back yard, where he had to rip a large opening into the wall to extract some of his more monumental works. That's where he works from morning until late afternoon, letting the creative spirit nurtured in his Cullman childhood loose on a canvas that is likely to find its way around the world.
by Nicholas Marlin, co-founder of OneGoodLove.com & Cynthia Penna, Art Director Art 1307 Italy/France/Los Angeles
The Sun America commission is finished and installed in the Sun America building in Century City. 3 of the largest paintings I have done. The large red one is 18 ft wide and 9 ft high. It is in the main lobby as you enter the building. EOP/Blackstone own the building and are my clients. They have been collecting my work for nearly 10 years and are wonderful to work with and very supportive! I am very grateful to have clients like I have!!
The other 2 works are in the elevator banks of the building. The blue one is visable from Avenue of the Stars at night when you drive by.
My next big project is a public art project at the Nashville Airport being installed in September 2014.
As I finish my commission, I have opened my studio doors to friends, clients, curators, etc. I think it is very important that artists take the time to do this and to listen to what is said and how the art is received.
On Monday, Adam Gross from Lapis and Harold Huttas, both very good friends and very versed in the art world did an early morning visit. Adam, a former Moca person, had wonderful insights into how my work has evolved over the years and the importance of works this large to my overall body of work.
Harold, an old school printer (Insight Printing) has worked with some of the greats over the years such as Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg, to name a few. Harold has visited the studio many times and especially since I started this commission. He was able to see the window replaced with a 10ft door in order to get the giant canvas' in as well and the slow completion of the 3 works.
We talked for an hour or so and then I returned to working on my new group of works.
My point is that studio visits open up a world of possibilities. The conversations always have a life of their own and will usually bring up something that you have been toying with in your own mind. Invaluable, priceless information and a great way to spend your time!
Here are the 2 works for the elevator lobbies at the Sun America bldg. Very difficult to photograph the blue one because it is so large and reflective!
Over the weekend I finished the commission for the Sun America building! This work is 9 ft high x 18 ft wide. It still has some wet spots on it as you can see in the photo! Installation is set for mid- May!
These are the 2 works that will go in the elevator banks of the building. Each work fits into an alcove at the end of the elevator lobby flanked by the elevators on each side.
12 feet high x 8 feet wide.
Thank you to my art reps that made this happen!
A shot of the large work in progress.
This was the beginning. I started with a white gesso base. Built that up with a red acrylic and then used multiple layers of thin oils.
Todd Williamson artist.