Neil Williams - BRIC Theme Sale London Friday, April 23, 2010 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Kim Esteve Collection, São Paolo

  • Exhibited

    Neil Williams Works from Brazil 1982-1988, 20th São Paulo International Biennial, 1989

  • Literature

    E. Leffingwell, The Keeper’s Memory, The Kim Esteve Collection and a Narrative History of Chácara Flora, São Paulo: Editora Terceiro Nome, 2003 (illustrated); C. von Schmidt, Neil Williams, Works from Brazil, 1982–1988, 20th São Paulo International Biennial, 14 October–10 December 1989, São Paulo: Kim Esteve and Lana Jokel, 1989, p. 14 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Neil Williams, who once shared a studio with Frank Stella, was one of the first American artists to explore the potential of working on irregularly shaped canvases. Initially experimenting with hard-edged geometric forms, he later turned to a more abstract, painterly style, and became much admired by his peers. Although mainly based in New York, Williams learned to love Brazil after being invited to exhibit in a São Paulo biennial, and this Brazilian experience was pivotal to his career. He discovered an ongoing and profound connection with the country’s lushness and diversity that resulted in a series of riotously coloured and textured abstractions, eventually synthesizing the landscape and floral elements encountered on his visits. While continuing to emphasize the structural integrity of the support, Williams developed, as one critic put it, ‘[a] technique of sculptural collage whereby he applied the dried skin of acrylic paint directly to the canvas … In Brazil Williams fused the tropical and the urban concrete’ (Edward Leffingwell, ‘São Paulo Diary’, Art in America 77 (January 1989), pp. 55–56).


Bloco de Troncoso

Acrylic on canvas and wood.
260 × 193 cm (102 3/8 × 76 in).

£120,000 - 180,000 

BRIC Theme Sale

23-24 April 2010