Following the acclaimed exhibition of historical works from 1997-1998 in New York, the new paintings will demonstrate Williams’ continued interest in exploring the fluid boundary between figuration and abstraction and her pursuance of the transformation of one into the other. In this body of work, the paintings have an increasing ethereality. They utilise the lightness of exposed ground to create areas of watery colour that combine with the elements of mark making, doodling, lining and smudging seen in her previous works. In them, as ever, gender roles and politics are alluded to whilst she also explores memory and personal experience. Emerging from the East Village, New York art scene in the late 1980’s, Sue Williams’ work soon gained recognition for its focus on issues of violence against women and the deeply gendered art world.
Graphic and text-heavy works gave way to colour and towards the end of the 1990s, her works employed a more abstract lyrical style, featuring colourful cartoonish compositions that remained charged with sexual and political meaning. Becoming ever-more nonrepresentational, figuration seemed to disappear entirely, and the essence of the paintings came less through narrative and more through pictorial means. The concealed language of Williams’ abstract work, however, remained consistent.