Paul Williams was born in 1940 in Sydney. He currently lives and works as an artist in Sydney.
In spite of a social taboo, we can’t help looking at other people’s bodies. The human figure is an artist’s dream, being emotionally evocative and capable of countless poses and positions. Early in my career, I was a dedicated realist until I was seduced by the mystery and excitement of contemporary art. My present goal is to compel the viewer to see the figure in a new and exciting way. To this end, I am fusing my experiences with Abstract Expressionism and life drawing to create my own personal style of figurative art.
My paintings mostly have their genesis in a life drawing session. To capture the model’s pose, I work quickly with my favourite materials, a charcoal pencil, old brushes, scraper, acrylics and binder medium. I take several sketches home and work them up into paintings with a lot of artistic licence, sometimes working on six or eight at once. I always seem to be dealing with absurdity and gravitas. Can they coexist? Essential factors to me are spontaneity, urgency and the unpredictable. At times I have to make decisions on how to create more excitement in a work. A prone pose may become a diagonal or a figure looks too real and needs distortion. When my work is going well I am excited at the prospect of something crazy and beautiful happening. As for a finished painting, it must look as if it were done in a hurry notwithstanding the length of time it may have taken.
I feel privileged to be following the same path as the masters Picasso, de Kooning and Dubuffet. When people see my creations I would like them to gain a novel insight into the human form and perhaps to sense the intense joy I felt when creating them.
2010-2017 Workshop Arts Centre, Willoughby N.S.W.
2019 Edge of the Id with Phillipa Butters, Thienny Lee Gallery, Sydney.
2018 Otherness with Phillipa Butters, Thienny Lee Gallery, Sydney.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 artists of mosman: 2088, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman
2018 artists of mosman: 2088, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman
2017 Northern Beaches Art Prize Finalist, Northern Beaches.
2017 Nature, Gallery 307, Northbridge.
2017 A Touch of France and Australia, Gallery 307, Northbridge.
2017 Hunters Hill Art Prize Finalist, Hunter Hill.
2017 Mosman Artists 2088, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.
2017 Ewart Art Prize, Workshop Arts Centre, Willoughby.
2016 Mosman Artists 2088, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.
2016 Warringah Art Prize, Warringah Creative Space, Warringah.
2015 Works, Ewart Gallery, Willoughby.
2015 New Works, Gallery 307, Northbridge.
2015 Mosman Art Society Members, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.
2014 End of Year Exhibition, Gallery 307, Northbridge.
2014 Mosman Artists 2088, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.
2013 Workshop Art Centre Revealed, Willoughby City Council
2012 Three Mosman Artists, Fix8 Gallery, Freshwater.
2012 In Profile, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.
2012 Mosman Art Society Members, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.
2011 Outback, Gallery 307, Northbridge
2010 New Figures, Gallery 307, Northbridge.
2009 New Works, Gallery 41, Woolloomoo
2008 Three Figurative Artists, Borg Gallery, Green Point.
2006 New Horizons, Washhouse Gallery, Rozelle.
2005 Art Sydney 05, Sarah Roney Galleries Paddington, at Fox Studios.
2017 Runner Up, Works on Paper, Northbridge Art Prize.
2017 Highly Commended, Works on Paper, Northbridge Art Prize.
2014 Winner, Painting Category, Northbridge Art Prize.
2013 Highly Commended (Drawing), Ewart Art Prize
2012 Second Place (Works on Paper), Northbridge Art Prize.
2010 Winner, Works on Paper, Northbridge Art Prize.
2009 Highly Commended, Works on Paper, Northbridge Art Prize.
Member Workshop Arts Centre, Willoughby
Member Mosman Art Society
Member Art Gallery Society of New South Wales
Member Friends of Mosman Art Gallery
Associate of former Brandling Street Painters