William T. Williams

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William T. William

William T. Williams (1942 – )

Originally from Cross Creek, NC, Williams earned an AAS from City University of New York, New York Community College, NY, in 1962, and a BFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, in 1966. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME, in 1965, and earned an MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT, in 1968. Williams became a professor of art at Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts, both in New York City, NY, in 1970, and since 1971 has been teaching at the City University of New York. His major exhibitions have been held at such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, in 1969, the Whitney Museum of American Art, in 1971, both in NYC, and the Anacostia Museum, Washington, DC, in 1987.

Williams is a renowned Color Field painter; his work is often large in scale and includes abstract, geometric, and organic forms that are closely related to mathematics and urban architecture. He frequently layers color upon color to create texture. The ideas of Alain Locke, the Harlem Renaissance scholar who convinced black artists to examine their African heritage and culture, heavily influences Williams’ work.

Blue Walk, c. 1991, is a lithograph from a series Williams created to pay homage to black jazz musicians. The monochromatic shapes are dynamic, suggesting movement with quiet mood.

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