Alun Williams


24 May - 24 June 2014

Alun Williams has often been seen as a “History Painter”, but the label is reductive. As attracted by the power of abstract forms, as by the lusciousness of Renaissance figures, the stylistic encounters in his paintings are never gratuitous.
Regular visitors to the gallery will remember the artist’s last solo show, devoted to historical characters such as the model/muses of Raphaël and Manet.
As usual, Williams utilized accidental paint marks, discovered during his investigations, and invited to play the role of the personalities in question.
Williams has often talked about his interest in the viewer’s “belief”. It is for him a potent tool for making paintings. In his new exhibition, he has chosen to deal with “religious” subjects, in this way referring to a double system of belief.
His paintings pay homage to religious figures in the work of painters, such as Appel, Basquiat, Picabia, Schnabel, Warhol, Breughel, and Tiepolo, to name only these.
Some of these artists have often provoked controversy, like Picabia, with the ink splash he entitled The Holy Virgin, or Appel and his Black Madonna.
But Alun Williams finds these representations to be of particular interest, as he holds that resemblance in all and any religious art is ultimately non-existent, meaning that its abstract values are actually what counts.
If Alun Williams seems to be joyfully navigating through Art history and images referring to multiple religions, this allows him to find new ways of injecting substance and power into his paintings, so increasing their resonance.