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James Williams III
James Williams III
The Grass Will Grow
February 11, 2022 – May 15, 2022
“The Grass Will Grow” is a multimedia installation featuring two sculptural works entitled “Seed I” and “Seed II” accompanied by various natural elements. This installation investigates space and movement in effort to encourage universal themes neighboring navigation, stillness, and acceptance.
During the Spring of 2020 in the midst of the pandemic lockdown, a national poll reported that 45% of Americans said that their lives were “disrupted” by the outbreak of COVID-19. With the pandemic quickly polarizing many social and economic issues generally overlooked, the percentage of Americans expressing distress climbed to 72% in a poll reported just a few weeks later. Although the world stood still for several months in lockdown, our day-to-day affairs didn’t let up.
The form found in “Seed I” and “Seed II” is representative of the artist’s exploration and development of “Upward Stability”. The use of color in the works relies on cool tones that promote emotional wellbeing. Each work was placed at specific points throughout the installation to reiterate the element of wayfinding. The effort behind the placement was to reflect the many ways in which we can navigate our emotions in a healthy manner. This installation aims to provide the viewer space to digress during these tumultuous times without the ever-present distraction of calamity.
James Williams III (b. 1992) is a Virginia-born interdisciplinary artist based in Atlanta, Georgia. Although Williams experimented with sculpture prior, he became particularly engaged with his practice in 2016. His studio practice explores the intersections between space, navigation, emotional health, and their relation to identity. In 2018, Williams adopted abstraction as his primary style in efforts to abandon the representational and push the boundaries of form, mood, and tone. Since his adaptation of abstraction, Williams’ work has been featured in various publications including Modern Luxury (US), Architectural Digest (US), and POPEYE Magazine (JP).
Williams strives to investigate the beauty and complexities of humanity in order to produce works that serve as sites of awareness and healing. He is innately inspired by personal accounts and the shared experiences of individuals in his orbit. After absorbing stories of past and present, Williams returns to a familiar process of automatic drawing as he would in grade school to work through the emotions that derived from those evolving narratives. Those forms then are placed under a critical lens which allows Williams to receive ancestral themes that later are worked into paintings, sculpture, studio furniture, and instillation. His choice of materials is often industrial, inspired by his admiration for structures that endure time.
By operating between sculpture and studio furniture, both disciplines have informed each other and allowed Williams to channel his voice through various mediums. Although self-taught, Williams has received direction from accomplished fine artists over the years. He had the opportunity to work under Lawrence “Naturel” Atoigue during 2018 as studio director and studio assistant to Basil Watson during 2019. The time Williams spent in each studio was integral to understanding his approach and how to navigate a fine art practice.
- Curated by Lauren Jackson Harris