Zurich

Michael Williams, Cow in Computer Lab, 2019, oil on canvas, 100 1⁄4 × 78 1⁄8".

Michael Williams, Cow in Computer Lab, 2019, oil on canvas, 100 1⁄4 × 78 1⁄8".

Michael Williams

Galerie Eva Presenhuber | Maag Areal

Michael Williams’s new paintings are as subversive as they are dazzling. His recent exhibition included both colorful semiabstract works and more straightforward figurative compositions, some of them mocking self-portraits. The mix showed just how talented this virtuoso painter is at deploying strategies that are currently fashionable in painting: ink-jet printing; compositions that look like pastiches of modernist styles, including dripping, collaging, and cutouts; motifs that verge on the grotesque or comic; and works that address the issues of framing and edge. The upshot was an insight into the plight of so many of today’s painters: their difficulty in maintaining a certain artistic auto-nomy in the face of an art market hungry for trend products.

While all the paintings on view were challenging, the best were those whose jigsaw-like forms and pastel colors refused any easy assignment

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