A Retrospective

10 Sep 2022 – 16 Oct 2022

Regular hours

13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00
13:00 – 18:00

Free admission

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New York
New York, United States

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This partial retrospective at FiveMyles highlights the sculpture and painting of Michael Kelly Williams. The artworks, inspired by the artist's love of jazz, reflect jazz's improvisational style and unexpected rhythms.


September 10 – October 16, 2022
Opening: Saturday, Sept. 17, 5:30 – 8pm

A Retrospective

Michael Kelly Williams

For the past four decades Michael Kelly Williams has created sculptures, works on paper, and prints. This partial retrospective at FiveMyles highlights sculpture and painting. 

Williams' sculptures are assembled with found objects. Elements are attached to one another using a gradual building up of layers of adhesives, wire, thin metal sheets and shrink wrap sleeves. Williams' passion for Black improvisational music inevitably informs his sculptures. In ‘The Mingus Songbook’ the iron base resembles the ironwork created by blacksmiths during slavery; the added open French horn case becomes the majestic music stand for one of America’s greatest composers, and the antique horn amplifier resonates with Eric Dolphy’s bass clarinet solo and gestures like a clenched fist. 

Williams' love of music is apparent in all his sculptures. With ‘Shout’, a seven-foot assemblage centered on a trombone, he celebrates the awe and spiritual power of the trombone shout bands. ‘Xenogenesis’, composed with elements collected over a long period of time, was finally assembled in 2016. It includes wood carvings from the facade of the famous jazz club The Tin Palace that closed in 1979.

Several ceramic pieces from the 1970's and some which were recently created, are included in the exhibition. ‘Mother and Child’, a sculpture in stoneware that is heavily influenced by the artist’s interest in the imagery of the Ukioye tradition of Japan. The raku piece ‘Cosmic Cowboy’ takes its inspiration from Ishmael Reed’s poem I’m a Cowboy in the Boat of Ra. 

For more information contact hanne@fivemyles.org or visit www.fivemyles.org
Gallery hours are 1-6pm, Thurs.-Sun.

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Carl E. Hazlewood

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Michael Kelly Williams


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