SELECTED WORKS is the first solo exhibition in almost a decade of the work of British painter Nicholas C Williams.
Williams’ paintings can take months or even years to complete. This led the art critic William Packer to write, after visiting the artist’s studio (a former lifeboat station in Cornwall), “…Williams is one of British Art’s well-kept secrets… even so his reputation is growing fast as both one of the most accomplished figurative artists of his generation, and one of the most unusual. Indeed there is no one else that I can think of who places himself quite so firmly in the great tradition of early Baroque, yet with no sense of anachronism or pastiche.”
This exhibition presents works made during the last twenty years, primarily selected from Williams’ project Demise of Compassion begun in 2004 in response to the Iraq War. Drawing on the vanitas still life, the artist made a group of paintings featuring IEDs – some of which are included here. These works are juxtaposed with still lifes depicting more familiar subjects, introducing questions of their seemingly inert nature.
Williams works exclusively from life and the exhibition features a number of drawings, the earliest from 1995. Also included is a figure study Seated Nude which is the partner work to Standing Nude which is in the permanent collection of the Frissiras Museum, Athens.
Previous solo exhibitions include the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth; St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh and Liverpool Cathedral for the European Capital of Culture. In 2001 he was awarded the Hunting Art Prize and in 2008 shortlisted for the Threadneedle Art Prize. Public collections include Bournemouth Central Library, Falmouth Art Gallery and the British Museum.