The Charles Williams exhibition just opened at Hackney’s New Art Projects, once again it feels dramatic descending those stairs into the big bright white-walled basement space, it always feels exciting going down there and getting a first glimpse of a new show. Charles Williams is an interesting painter, an exciting one, a slightly mysterious one, the mystery that comes with his painting surely has to be a good thing. We’re told he lives in semi-reclusion in rural Kent. He was a founder member of the notorious Stuckist art movement, his current body of work certainly has a healthy stuckist feel, a little more than just that though (I must confess I never really got on that much with the notions of the Stuckists). There’s a warmth here, a feeling of a painter loving what he’s doing, a painter lost, in the best possible way, in his world, in the stories he tells, the short stories that his paintings hint at. His paintings are a delight, is it wrong to say they’re an almost innocent delight? That does sound a little throwaway, a little uncommitted of me and that really isn’t the intention here, these are strong paintings, bold paintings, his black lines that connect the movement of the people, the relationships of the subjects. These latests paintings are about relationships, about animals and their relationships with their humans, or the way we see those relationships, the works throw up many questions, they can be read in many ways, they hint at so many things, they maybe suggest things? They are a delight but there’s more to i that that and “nice” is never ever what an artist wants to hear and yes delight” isn’t that far from “Nice” and this show is far more than just “delightfully nice”. This is a strong show, these are intriguing works, committed works, exciting works… (sw)
New Art Projects is at 6d Sheep Lane, Hackney, London, E8 4QS. Just by Broadway Market, not far from the Regents Canal and a stone’s throw from Beck Road. The Charles Williams show goes on until April 30th. The gallery is open Wednesday until Saturday, 11am until 6pm. There’s also a group exhibition in the same four roomed spacious gallery, an exhibition of drawings and from Canadian artists that has some rather fine pieces worth seeing.
As always, click your mouse on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show and get a flavour