The Other Gallery, Winnipeg presents: Richard WilliamsApril 3–May 2, 2008
Other People’s Projects is an occasional programming strand at White Columns, in which we offer our project space to idiosyncratic organizations, collectives, publishers, individuals, etc. to introduce their activities and/or enthusiasms to a wider audience.
The Other Gallery’s presentation of Richard Williams’ drawings is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two organizations following White Columns’ presentation of Other Gallery’s founder Paul Butler’s work in 2006, and our subsequent screening of collaborative films by Winnipeg artists Jeff Funnell and John Will in 2007.
The Other Gallery will present Winnipeg-based artist Richard Williams’ (b. 1921) suite of drawings “The Naked Block Party” (1997-2000). Produced when the artist was in his late seventies the drawings depict scenes from an imagined suburban-bacchanalian block party.
In an introductory statement to the work Williams stated:
“Early in the summer of 1997, letters to the Free Press argued both sides of the Ontario Court’s controversial topless decision. I amused myself by commenting on some of the letters in my drawings. As the controversy continued, many writers revealed a yearning to go beyond toplessness. They argued that total nudity would be better for us, mentally as well as physically. I tried to imagine life in a naked community. I asked myself “What if somewhere in our Winnipeg suburbs there were an affluent middle-class group who agreed to organize a Naked Block Party?” Given that we North Americans are, as Sallie Tisdale says, in our “cultural puberty: lewd, leering, intensely curious and ashamed and prudish all at once”, the images that sprang up were poignant, and each carried with it the promise of more to come.”
Richard Williams (b. 1921) is Director Emeritus of the University of Manitoba School of Art. Born in Pennsylvania, he became a Canadian Citizen in 1969. He studied sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University, and Printmaking at the University of Iowa. He served in the U.S Army Air Force for three years, painting mascots on the noses of bombers during his spare time. He moved to Winnipeg in 1954, and held the position of Director of the University of Manitoba School of Art for more than twenty years. Williams has shown his work across Canada and the United States for more than sixty years. “The Naked Block Party” was shown at Winnipeg’s Art Collectors Club in May/June 2000.
About The Other Gallery: The Other Gallery is a web-based, nomadic project directed by Winnipeg artist Paul Butler. Through alternative programming that includes The Collage Party, art fair participation, and collaborative exhibiting, the gallery focuses on exposing under-recognized and emerging Canadian talent to an international audience. Aside from directing the operations of the Other Gallery, Butler (b. 1973) has a varied practice that includes exhibiting his own work. Butler is also the founder of the Upper Trading Post, a non-profit, invitational web-site devoted to the facilitation of artist trading.