‘Untitled/Re-assembled. Intersections of form and content: Studio Process, Collage and the Graphic Archive', an exhibition of work by Alex Williamson, is currently on display at the Windgate Gallery, part of the Windgate Centre for Art and Design at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith.
The exhibition offers an extensive and comprehensive insight into Alex’s practice over the past 20 years as an image maker and illustrator specialising in collage. Editorial, advertising and design commissions are displayed alongside Williamson’s process sketches and works in progress, highlighting the role exploration plays in the formation and production of each image.
This deliberate arrangement of exhibiting speculative sketches next to ‘final’ artworks references Schwitter’s Merz principle of ‘equal evaluation’. As outlined in the exhibition’s statement:
“The approach is intended to be ‘non-precious’, reflecting the spirit and loose, associative nature of the working method, and to challenge the way the works are viewed collectively as part of a process as well as how they can be seen outside of their individual, ‘real world’ destinations as mass printed, often disposable, entities.”
The most accessible (and therefore often the most defining in the public's eye) elements of an illustrator's work are their published pieces. However, conceptual thinking and technical knowledge are crucial components of an artist's practice, forming the basis on which their work is created. By acknowledging this in the curation of his exhibition, Williamson brings this vital critical understanding to the forefront of our attention.
The exhibition runs until mid-June 2019. You can view more of Alex Williamson's work in his portfolio here: https://www.debutart.com/artist/alex-williamson
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