Sue Williams

The Society for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce SUE WILLIAMS Tuesday, February 15 2000 In the 1990s Sue Williams emerged as one of the most compelling, challenging, and important feminist artists of the late twentieth century. Like Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, and other contemporary women artists, Williams draws upon personal experience to make art that activates political, social consciousness. Her ground-breaking early paintings depict the everyday private dilemmas of neglect, abuse, and violence against women. Williams structures these often gruesome, schematic scenarios by combining roughly drawn cartoon-like figures with angry texts of rude jokes and insults that function as dark parodies. The smeared, scrubbed surfaces of her early canvases enhance the visceral effect of the traumatic narratives that unfold in the compositions. Williams’ more recent paintings, which resonate with the late works of DeKooning and Pollock, consist of vibrant, lyrical abstract compositions comprised of ambiguous and jumbled bodily forms. While their initial impact is less confrontational than her early work, the sexual tension of these compositions is heightened by the animated, calligraphic lines that populate the canvases. Williams was born in Chicago Heights, Illinois and currently lives in New York. As a high school student, she was inspired by the Chicago Imagists Jim Nutt and H.C. Westermann, and later received formal training at Cooper Union in New York and the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia?the school known for having produced several influential figurative painters of the 1980s such as Eric Fischl and David Salle. Her paintings have been included in the Whitney Biennials of 1993, 1995, and 1997, The Venice Biennial of 1993, and the infamous “Bad Girls” exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Art, London in 1993. Williams’s work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The Art Institute of Chicago
Members – $40

05:30PM – 06:00PM – Reception
The Trustees’ Room

06:00PM – 07:00PM – Dining
The Trustees’ Room

07:00PM – 08:00PM – Lecture
The Trustees’ Room
Members – $12