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Mural, What the Water Gave Me, East Wall of Alley Next to 113 W Washington St, October 24, 2020

Mural, What the Water Gave Me, East Wall of Alley Next to 113 W Washington St, October 24, 2020 image
Year
2020
Month
October
Day
24
Description

Art at Michigan, January 13, 2021

Noah Caspar

'Avery Williamson, an Ann Arbor based interdisciplinary artist, began making the meditative line paintings in 2017 in response to the epidemic of killings of black people at the hands of police. While these works existed primarily in black and white, a value scale consistently employed in Guterson’s drawings, “What the Water Gave Me” is painted with ultramarine, white, and payne’s grey acrylic paint and medium. The scattered marks, referenced by Williamson as “guts,” are produced throughout a long timeline of active processing, extended because of the scale of the work. Additionally, dictated by its size, Williamson stood above the metal panes, which lay face up on her studio floor, as she painted. This process, in which Williamson interacts with her “canvas,” or metal panes, in “as an arena in which to act”, (Rosenberg, 1952) is similar to painting methods of the mid twentieth century action painters. Harold Rosenberg, an American art critic and influential figure regarding Abstract Expressionism, wrote, “What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.” Avery’s identity as a black woman offers an incredibly important perspective through which to reframe such critique, as many of the ascribed artists were white men, and see contemporary black abstraction through a process centric lens. Swimming through a series of events into a sea of expansive blue, this portal gives birth to the power of water and its dynamic currents into a hopeful future where black joy and healing are prioritized and unconstricted.'

 

Rights Held By
Steve Jensen