A new series of paintings by Island painter Rez Williams, “Views From Another Island,” debuts at A Gallery on Friday, July 14, and will be on exhibit through August 2. He returns to landscape painting with 16 oil-on-canvas works depicting the rugged shoreline and coastal forest of Monhegan Island, Maine. According to a press release from A Gallery, this follows a series of Irish paintings of coastal and rural Mayo during his fellowship at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in 2014, which the artist says was pivotal in kindling a renewed interest in landscape.
Williams challenged himself with how to deal with what initially presented itself as “a chaotic jumble of dead and living understory, distant glimpses of ocean, and towering deciduous canopy where vegetative undergrowth comes slam bam up to the edge of the sea with no mediating interval,” the release states.
The artist is known for painting the brightly colored, steel-hulled fishing vessels of New Bedford, exploring the abstract elements of a local industrial subject. Of this the artist says in the press release, “the elements of sky and water in these paintings were structured to work with the dominant form of the vessels, and so took on both a subordinate and abstract function. In the Irish landscapes this hierarchy and crutch was gone. There was no tyranny of the image; the composition was now democratic and this has become almost socialistic in the Monhegan paintings.”