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Aaron Williams at Raritan Valley CC


I got an email the other day from Aaron Williams, whose paintings Libby and I had both seen and been intrigued by in the group show, Field Questions, at Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery in 2005. That show was abstract painting and had a lot of good work (including work by the awesome Chris Martin).

Williams’ work stood out with its suggestion of disembodied body parts in flat fields of blue. The whole suggested celestial human hot air and the idea as well as the execution was highly digitally-influenced. It was new and different and seemed to push the idea of human representation into the 21st Century. Here’s one post about the work and here’s another.

Williams is in a group show that just opened, Lateral Attitudes, at Raritan Valley Community College. It’s an impressive lineup for a community college show, but if I remember correctly, artblog pal, Mark Shetabi used to teach there and showed work in the gallery and Mark is particular so I’m guessing it’s a good space and a good venue.

Here’s the list for the show:

Mauro Altamura
Michelle Loughlin
Brian Loughlin
Tom McGlynn
Jeff Mason
Ruth Root
Roger Sayre
James Siena
Eileen Torpey
Tenesh Webber
Aaron Williams
Merrill Wagner
Stephan Westfall

The show’s theme, something about experiencing time and space in a lateral fashion — all compressed or expanded — is nice and slippery not tidy and tight–the kind of show a viewer might actually be able to come to some conclusions on their own about things.

Anyway, when I asked him what he was putting in the show, Williams wrote me that while he’s still doing the body parts in space work, here he’s assayed something different. Here’s how he describes it:

Aaron Williams
Aaron Williams, Hanging Tree, Alabama, 22×30, enamel on paper, 2006

I’ve got a couple of things in the show, Hanging Tree and a sculpture called Tree Ring. The black surfaces are thick, mirrored enamel and the sculpture (not shown) is an actual mirror in the shape of a tree ring (with black bark around the edges) with a face lightly etched into the surface. The second image (below) is a newer piece. I’m still making paintings of “people” and these paper pieces and the sculptures are more descriptive of places, half real and half imagined. There’s a broader narrative that concerns two dead teenagers traveling through this slightly altered/ skewed landscape. The tree images come from places in towns where school shootings have occurred.

Aaron Williams
Aaron Williams, Looking Up, 22×30, watercolor and enamel on paper, 2007

In other news, Williams confessed he too is a fan of Rosalyn Drexler and said he is happy to see her get some attention. Us too! And I just found this on Paddy Johnson’s blog: Johnson put Williams’show at Baumgartner Gallery last year on her list of the top ten art shows of 2006!

Lateral Attitudes
Jan 29-February 22
Raritan Valley Community College’s (RVCC) Visual and Performing Arts
North Branch Campus. Exit 26 off of I-78 West, near Somerville NJ.