Things You Shouldn’t Understand is the newest in a series of drawing books by Los Angeles–based painter Michael Williams (born 1978).
It employs the motif of marker bleeding through a page to propel the narrative, each image repeating in mirror form and interacting with a new one on its facing page, as a psychedelic cast of creatures twists and turns.
Published by Carnegie Museum of Art. Text by Eric Crosby. Interview by Suzanne Hudson.
Over the last 10 years, Los Angeles–based Michael Williams (born 1978) has created paintings known for their layered imagery, eye-popping color and use of airbrushing and inkjet printing.
His large-scale works begin as drawings either on paper or on the computer screen before they are printed or transferred to canvas and then embellished with oil paint. Williams’ narrative content reveals a dark sense of humor about everyday life, often exploring the role of the painter as observer. Wickedly funny allegories merge with abstract painting as free-form amoebic shapes frequently fill the entirety of his canvases. The resulting paintings offer a dense and absorbing terrain of color and form. Michael Williams is published to accompany the artist’s first US solo museum exhibition, at Carnegie Museum of Art, where he presents a new body of his large-scale paintings as well as drawings that mix collage and free-associative mark-making.
How to Ruin an Omelet is the third in a series of artist’s books by Los Angeles–based painter Michael Williams (born 1978), following California Land for Sale!! and Yoga Online. Using a fashion sketchbook with figurative templates as its foundation, How to Ruin an Omelet is a lively amalgam of text and image.
Published by JRP|Ringier. Text by Dan Nadel, George Pendle.
In the last few years New York-based artist Michael Williams (born 1978) has evolved from making large gestural oil paintings to similarly scaled paintings printed with a billboard-sized inkjet printer. Despite the drastic shifting of materials there is a warmth and personal quality which persists in the paintings. Williams summons a large catalogue of imagery generated through a dedication to drawing and a mining of his inner psyche. The images that recur are often comical, and occasionally take jabs at the present state of humankind, though lacking an accusatory tone. There is a refusal in Williams' paintings to side with representation or abstraction, instead he neglects the issue and pursues his own line of complex image-making. This volume gives an overview of these recent shifts in Williams' paintings and includes essays by British fiction author and journalist George Pendle, and curator and writer Dan Nadel. It is published on the occasion of Michael Williams' solo exhibition at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.