January 16 – February 22, 2014
Opening Reception Thursday January 16, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
303 Gallery is proud to present “WTC, WWIII, Couch Size”, our ninth exhibition of new paintings by Sue Williams.
In a series of new paintings, the anthropomorphic abstractions of Williams' recent work – with disorienting jumbles of bodily function intersecting and unsavory gushes of bursting organs as focal points – have coalesced into architectural space, as the hard geometries of the twin towers of the World Trade Center explode and collapse into cataclysmic color fields. As if caught careening through physical and psychical space, the lines are bent and contorted into unsettled, foreboding echoes of the 9/11 and its aftermath. The War on Terror, the perpetual, all- encompassing war that Sue Williams considers for this exhibition, by any transparent means could be called World War III.
Yet Williams retains her sense of humor. Her everyday concerns – the demented, abject humor of bodily functions, the inadvertent expressionism of dripping human fluids – remain intact. Though the abstracted architectures of the World Trade Center are stand-ins for the body in space, the paintings have similar compulsions. The subject can’t help but bring up images from Williams’ everyday vernacular, the semi-conscious gestures that create the lavish and farcical levity of the paintings themselves. In titling the exhibition “WTC, WWIII, Couch Size”, Williams winks at the shape of her rectangular canvases, “couch size” in commercial parlance. The traumatic nature of her subject matter and the dejection inherent in the current political climate have become integrated into the vocabulary of the paintings. The simple act of painting itself is a conduit for Williams’ acute sense of irony and the contagious energy of translating impulse to image. As a response to the monumental shock of 9/11 and the ensuing wars that have followed, Williams approaches the paradoxical exquisite lurking between reflection, critique, and pure painterly indulgence.
Sue Williams has exhibited internationally for over 15 years and was included in the 1993, 1995, and 1997 Biennials at the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as being shown at the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum in New York. She recently has had one-person exhibitions at the Palm Beach ICA, FL, the Secession in Vienna, Austria, the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Spain and the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA. She is currently included in the exhibition “Comic Future” at Ballroom Marfa, Texas.