New Art Projects are delighted to announce our first solo show by British Painter Charles Williams. Born in Evanston, Illinois, Charles Williams is a British artist who lives in semi-reclusion in a small town in rural Kent.
Williams’ most recent work stems from his feelings of a need to create a presence, without telling a story that relates to class, privilege, wealth or any of the cultural web that surrounds human beings, or at least partially escapes it. The temporary flight from depicting people and leaning towards animals in his work is a new exploration. Williams refers to explaining animals through their relationships with us, metaphorical, allegorical, analogical, and the belief that this encounter with them is doomed to be one-sided.
His work is compiled from a dialogue between him in his studio environment, stories and ideas that keep company around both his imagination and both memory and painting works that have left a significant hold on him. Joseph Highmore’s ‘Mr Oldham And His Guests’, Annibale Carracci’s ‘The Butcher’s Shop’, Daniel Stringer’s 1776 self-portrait are notable works that do this for Williams.
A question embedded in his practice, is that as he fumbles around is can he escape this cultural web and what would that look like? It feels like mud sucking at your boots sometimes, but at others, it’s as if he were standing on the shoulders of giants, lifted off by what they’ve done and what he can do.
Writer Evelyn Waugh described his friend Anthony Powell’s fictional characters as ‘having an effect like an aquarium.’ “One after another various specimens swim towards us; we see them clearly, then with a barely perceptible flick of fin or a tail they are off into the murk.” This feels like an apt analogy to the process of Williams’ paintings.
Charles Williams studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. He has been selected for juried group exhibitions including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize and the Threadneedle Prize. Charles Williams has exhibited in solo exhibitions in the UK, Netherlands and United States including ‘The Death Of Joe Skipping’, Studio 1:1, Shoreditch, London, 2019, ‘Louise Bourgeois And Other Stories’, Studio 1:1, Shoreditch, London, 2016, ‘Memento Mori’, Lilly Zeligmann Gallery, Laren, Netherlands 2015, ‘Figure & Ground,’ _SURFACE Gallery, Shoreditch, London, 2014 and ‘Short Stories’, Atrium Space, BAT, London, 2012. He has also exhibited in John Moore’s Painting Prize 2020 at Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, Portrait Competition at National Portrait Gallery 2020, and Interesting Times at London Metropolitan University (with British Council) 2020. Williams is a founder member of the notorious Stuckist art movement.