Nightmare of the Haunted Buddha

Artist Statement

Jacob Williams was born in 1975 in McArthur California.  He studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts, The Studio School of Painting Drawing and Sculpture and New York University.  He received his BA from Hunter College in 2011, and his MFA from The School of Visual Arts in 2014.  Williams' work appears to use a familiar Minimalist language, however the formal concerns of his art are dictated by intuition, unlike the artists of previous generations who relied more on pure math or geometry.  Combining the mystical and the formal, Williams’ work could be seen in the tradition of Donald Judd, Frank Stella and Richard Tuttle.  Neither paintings nor sculptures, his works loom oppressively over the viewer with high drama.  Williams' primitive artifacts conjure an imaginary pantheon of dystopian warriors.   Creating masks, shields, swords and the like, the violent nature of such tools becomes playful in his hands, lackadaisical even -- invoking a whimsical interpretation of American culture's inviolable obsession with weaponry and warrior culture. Through paintings or sculpture; as a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Williams often utilizes elements of war and warrior culture from the present and the ancient past.  Williams is in effect a figurative artist, the figure is always there, whether it is implied by ergonomic effect or as a negative absence the viewer completes the work.  In a Gestalt fashion, much the same way as Tony Smith or Robert Morris's sculptures depend on the architectural reality of the figure, Williams' work depends on the figure for emotional and dramatic interaction and thus completion of the work.  Williams began exhibiting in New York in the late 90's with Kenny Schachter. Jacob Williams has had solo shows at the Diesel Denim Gallery in New York and Ober Gallery in Kent, Connecticut.