September 8 – October 6, 2007
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 8,  8 – 11pm

Merry Karnowsky Gallery
170 South La Brea Avenue (in the Art 170 Building), Los Angeles, California 90036
Contact person:  Merry Karnowsky

Website :

Kent Williams, Pilot, 2007, oil on linen, 28” x 22”.


The Merry Karnowsky Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new paintings by Kent Williams.

Symbols of death and playfulness abound in the new paintings by Kent Williams. In In Animate, the roles of humans and inanimate objects are reversed. Day of the Dead skeletons and devils beckon and entice the human figures to break from their internal struggles that have frozen them, while in another painting, cute Japanese dolls rise to dominate and dwarf an adolescent girl. These paintings incorporate the contrasting allure of the playful with the more ominous edge these symbols represent. The figures, however stable their bodies may seem, belie an inner turbulence that takes place in the psychology of their faces, and the paintings are effused with this introspective intensity.

Along with these multi-layered narratives, Williams sets into a place a series of portraits and self-portraits, where the figures are observantly painted, a study in character with all the enigma and intelligence laid bare in the human form.  As the art critic and historian, Edward Lucie-Smith states in the recently released monograph, Kent Williams, Amalgam: Paintings and Drawings, 1992 – 2007, “By representing his own likeness in this fashion Williams stresses the fact that painting is not just an act of physical making. Even more importantly it is an act of thinking.”

Kent Williams was born in 1962 in New Bern, NC. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where he received his BFA in Drawing and Painting in 1984. His work has been the subject of a number of exhibitions over the past ten years, including shows at Duke University Museum of Art and was included in the Outwin Boochever Portrait Painting and Sculpture Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in 2006 – 2007.

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