Sue Williams (American, b.1954) is a feminist painter who often combines themes of gender politics and the body into her work. She received her BFA at the California Institute of the Arts in 1976. Her early works of highly-narrative comic and caricature paintings made her known to a larger audience. She challenged earlier feminist artists, such as Judy Chicago (American, b.1939), by exploring more controversial themes, such as domestic violence, sexual obscenity, and her anger towards the acceptance of sexism in society. In the 1990s, her work became highly Expressionist, and she often combined text in her paintings. Her violent images became more abstract and fragmented, and in 1993, she was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. The early 2000s brought another stylistic change, as her works became more monochromatic, and her brushstrokes became an essential theme. Often Abstract, Williams’ painting can depict details of body parts and human organs, such as torn blood vessels and broken bones, amongst others. Williams has exhibited her work internationally, and is a part of numerous public and museum collections, such as Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, amongst others.

Timeline

1954
Born in Chicago Heights, USA
1972
BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, USA
1973
Cooper Union, New York, USA
1975–1976
BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, USA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, USA

Exhibitions

2010
Al-Qaida is the CIA, 303 Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
South Hill Park Open Exhibition Prints, Berkshire, England
2008
Project for the new american century, David Zwirner, New York, USA (solo)
Sue Williams: Small Talk, High Heels, Ormeau Baths Gallery OBG, Belfast, Northern Ireland (solo)
2007
Into Me/Out of Me, MACRO al Mattatoio, Rome, Italy
Fast Forward: Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA
InWords: The Art of Language, University Gallery, University of Delaware, Newark, USA
Comic Abstraction: Image Breaking, Image Making, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Beneath the Underdog, Gagosian Gallery, Madison Ave, New York, USA
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, 45 Years of Art and Feminism, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
2006
Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
Defamation of Character, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA
Into Me/Out of Me, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA (itinerary: Kunst-Werke, Berlin: MARCO Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome)
Lara Schnitger, Lily van der Stokker, Sue Williams, Modern Art, London, England
Still Points of the Turning World: SITE Santa Fe's Sixth International Biennial, SITE Santa Fe, Santa Fe, USA
New York, New York: Fifty Years of Art, Architecture, Film, Music, and Video, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco
Bearings: The Female Figure, P.S. 122 Gallery, New York, USA
Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Sue Williams: Small talks, high heels, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Wales (solo)
2005
303 Gallery, New York, USA (solo)
BA-CA Kunstforum, Willem de Kooning, Vienna, Austria
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Extreme Abstraction, Buffalo, USA
2004
Staatsgallerie Stuttgart, Funny Cuts: Cartoons und Comics in der Zeitgenössischen Kunst, Stuttgart, Germany
The Parrish Art Museum, North Fork/South Fork: East End Art Now, South Hampton, New York
The American Academy of Art and Letters, New York, USA
Bernier / Eliades Gallery, Athens, Greece (solo)
Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea (solo)
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, USA (solo)
2003
Regen Projects, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
Galleria Il capricorno, Venice, Italy (solo)
Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain (solo)
Texas Gallery, Size Matters, Houston, USA
G Gallery, Drawing, Washington D.C.
University of Santa Barbara, Social Strategies: Redefining Social Realism, Santa Barbara, USA
Carpenter Center, Harvard, Cambridge, USA
2002
Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria
303 Gallery, New York, USA
Sue Williams - A Fine Line, The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (PBICA), Lake Worth, USA
Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Germany (solo)
Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2001
Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
Bernier/Eliades Gallery, Athens, Greece (solo)
1999
Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)

Literature

2005
Vitorelli , Rita, A Letter From Sue Williams, in: spike – Art Quarterly, July 2005, No. 4, p. 62-73
2005
Hezel, Sarah (ed.), EXTREME abstraction, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York, 2005
2003
Gorsen, Peter, Organverschlingung, in: FAZ, 6.1.03, p.33
2002
Burton, Johanna, review, Time Out NY, May 16-23, No. 346, p. 73
2002
Review, The New Yorker, May 6, p.18
2002
Glueck, Grace, review, The New York Times, May 3, p. 39
2002
Steiner, Urs, Disney durchgedreht, in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 6. September 2002, Nr. 206, p.44
2002
Schwabsky, Barry Abjection by Other Means, in: Art in America, January, 2002, No. 1, p.92
2001
Kimmelman, Michael, In a Cheerful Groove, With a Plan and Senendipity, in: The New York Times, New York, December 28, 2001, p. 41, p. 43, ill.
2000
Galerie Joan Prats (ed.), Sue Williams, Barcelona, 2000 (exh. cat.)