los-angeles

Robert Williams

Tamara Bane Gallery

As the war between high and low culture wages on, Robert Williams, a former decal and comix artist turned easel painter, continues to assault his viewer’s eyeballs relentlessly. Cerebrally, one is bound, gagged, beaten, and cut to ribbons by these meticulously rendered full-color deliriums. Indeed, the works are so visceral that one half expects a grisly soundtrack of heckling, shrieks, and flesh chewing. It would seem virtually impossible to accommodate this material without a certain distance and not be rendered dysfunctional.

Since the obscene rears its head everywhere in these psychotic nightmares, it’s beside the point to try to sort out the “gratuitous sex and violence” from more artistically purposive carnage. In any case the “G.S. & V.” complaint is voiced to scold artists who explore the ecstasies of cruelty and abandon; the conflict is between those who are compelled to break down

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