Galerie Schlégl
MINERVASTRASSE 119, CH-8032 ZÜRICH, TEL +41 44 383 49 63

Mark Williams

Visual Concert: New Paintings

12. Mai - 13. Juli 2007

New artistic languages out of the urgent need to say something previously unsaid, or to envision something that was previously unconceivable. Often they reflect that urgency and the awkward processes of primary linguistic construction as much or more as they articulate the imperative concept that gave rise to them. Later, the grammarians and the systems builders take over, and while the language is expanded and rationalized, this frequently happens at the cost of its initial poetry. So it was with geometric abstraction in the twentieth century. However, in their maturity, once novel and self-limiting pictorial modes may afford many technical options, address many possible subjects and open themselves to many nuances. So it is now with the forms and formats originated by Mondrian, Malevich and their contemporaries.

Mark Williams fluently speaks the idiom they invented but without taking any of its subtleties for granted. Moreover, he has dicovered in it the source of a material lyricism that can only be accessible to those who inherit a fully evolved means of expression. Williams' muted colors and tones are exquisitely calibrated in the ways that a fundamentalist first generation abstract artist would have found difficult to achieve and might even have thought suspect had it been possible to do so.
Williams' touch is corresponding deft, with the suave movement of his brush over the survace setting of visual incidents wherever an edge slips under, glances off or stops just shy of another edge. These intimate confrontations do not symbolize cosmic dynamism or coming revolutions as was the case with the antecedents in the 1910's, '20's and '30's. Having acquired a past that qualifies its former Utopian ambitions, gridded abstraction of the kind Williams practices no longer needs to base its legitimacy on predicting the future. It is sufficient - and difficult enough - to make images that squarely locate us in the present and reawaken the senses dulled by quotidian hurry and inattention. This Williams does beutifully.

Robert Storr - 2006

Cover, 2007, Acryl auf Leinwand