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Press Release

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present a solo presentation of new paintings by Peter Williams at NADA Miami 2019, Booth 11.06, to be held at Ice Palace Studios, Miami, FL from December 5-8, 2019.

Peter Williams’s new suite of paintings, entitled Black Exodus, uses allegory and satire to explore a new ecologically-focused diaspora. With the earth on the brink of environmental disaster, Williams tells an afrofuturist tale of a community as it escapes to outer space. Set in a dense, snowy mountain range⁠—the last pristine landscape that doubles as a remnant of white supremacy—a brown-skinned race gathers and suits up for their impending journey, their space suits functioning like anthropomorphic second skins, temporarily altering their bodies for the challenges and hardships to come. They travel in retro-styled flying cars named for heroes like Mal.Colm X and Rosa.Parks, dream of new planet homes, and commune with bird-creatures who have become harbingers of human destruction. Will Williams’s protagonists remain trapped in a cycle of oppression or will they escape to the stars? 

For more than 40 years Williams has chronicled current and historical events, interspersing pictorial narratives with personal anecdotes and fictional characters in order to create paintings about the diverse experiences of Black Americans. With boldness and humor, he tackles the darkest of subjects including, but not limited to, police brutality, lynching, slavery, mass incarceration, and other realms of racial oppression.  Williams uses cultural criticism to form new creation myths, retelling the history of America from fresh and cosmic perspectives. 

Peter Williams lives in Wilmington, DE and is Senior Professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Delaware. He earned his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His paintings are held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Delaware Art Museum, Howard University in Washington DC,, Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, MI, Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Bill Gautreax Collection and the Pizutti Collection, among others.  

Recent exhibitions include Men of Steel, Women of Wonder, curated by Assistant Curator Alejo Benedetti, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK; River of Styx (2018), Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; With So Little To Be Sure Of (2018), curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah, CUE Art Foundation, New York; Soul Recordings (2018), Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; Prospect.4: The Lotus In Spite Of The Swamp (2017-18), organized by Trevor Schoonmaker, Prospect Triennial, New Orleans, LA; Dark Humor: Peter Williams (2017), Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; The N-Word: Common and Proper Nouns (2017), Ruffin Gallery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; Me, My, Mine: Commanding Subjectivity in Painting (2016), DC Moore Gallery, New York; and the Whitney Biennial (2002), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Williams is the recipient of numerous honors including the National Academy of Design (inducted 2018), the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2018), the Joan Mitchell Award (2004 and 2007), and a Ford Foundation Fellowship (1985-87).  


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