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On the occasion of Art Basel OVR: Pioneers, 303 Gallery is pleased to share a two-person presentation, featuring new paintings by Sue Williams and Tala Madani.


Sue Williams (b. 1954, Chicago Heights, IL, USA) and Tala Madani (b. 1981, Tehran, Iran) approach painting from different stylistic frameworks and generational perspectives, but both concern themselves with interrogating who (and what) is portrayed in art.


Coming to prominence in the early 1980s, Sue Williams has become one of the most influential painters of her generation. In her most recent canvases, she synthesizes modes of painting from her past into gushing explosions of color, line, bits of text and cartoon flourishes. In contrast with Williams’ all-over treatment of her canvases, Tala Madani’s paintings typically take the form of portraits, focusing on a curious infant, a mother and child, or groups of men. Figures simultaneously innocent and nefarious, furtive and self-aware, or comical and violent float through a hazy pastel palette that seems to shine light through the vulgar comforts of bonding.


Often plumbing the darker elements of human nature, these two artists incorporate slapstick humor and grotesque imagery as a means to confront the roles of gender, sexuality, violence and power structures within contemporary society. Employing comic language to serious ends, both continue to push boundaries within the field of painting, approaching their medium as a vehicle for incisive critique.