David Lusk Gallery Memphis / 97 Tillman St. September 2, 2020 - October 3, 2020

Kelly S. Williams 

Kelly S. Williams is known for lush, prismatic paintings on round birch panels with an array of tiered patterns and compositions. Intrigued by the history of the curiosity cabinet, and influenced by a long relationship with fabric and quilting, Williams probes the human penchant for the preservation and cultivation of natural wonders. In particular, she is interested in how the process of collecting and composing objects interacts with horticulture as well as astronomy. Often working on several panels simultaneously, her process of layering and unveiling exposes multidimensional, kaleidoscopic depths in each composition. After applying a base pattern in acrylic, and then covering it with a layer of oil, she uses sharp objects to methodically scrape and texturize the surface. Williams’ meticulous, ritualistic practice strives to reveal compelling relationships among seemingly divergent spheres of life.

Kelly S. Williams received her BA in Studio Art from Vassar College and her MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. She has participated in residency programs nationally and internationally, such as the Yale Summer School for Art and Music and the Terra Foundation in Giverny, France, and has been awarded grants and awards including the WK Rose Fellowship in 2002 and the Carrell Artist Award in 2010. Her work hangs at Thompson Hotel, Nashville; nexAir Headquarters, Memphis; and the Nashville Courthouse among other collections.