Currently on display through March 16th at Brooklyn gallery Jack the Pelican Presents are painters Robin Williams and Nathan Lewis in two separate solo shows within the same complex. Williams paints haunting young children stuck in the midst of play, while Lewis is a history painter.
Williams’ children are depicted alone or in multiples, engaged in quotidian childhood activities, such as drinking juice, jumping on trampolines, and blowing bubbles. The subjects have a disturbed quality, but are executed in a colorful palette. The limited surroundings allow the viewer to focus on the children, who seem terrified, as in Double Mint. The young twins are stuck in a gummy embrace, with their rheumy eyes glancing outward and their soft flesh displaying an unhealthy pallor. Formally recalling earlier figurative artists Lisa Yuskavage and John Currin, Williams departs from their purely aesthetic approach by portraying the anxiety-riddled psychological aspect of modern childhood. Williams received her B.F.A. in 2006 from Rhode Island School of Design and has previously shown at Nathan A. Bernstein & Co., Ltd. in New York and at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco.
Nathan Lewis creates epic scenes of fear and disaster that often directly reference authors and events of the past. His compositions typically include several people in a dramatic state of panic, evoking themes of catastrophe and mortality. Lewis draws on our post-9/11 perpetual state of apprehension, allowing viewers to relate to the collective terror and fundamental futility presented in these large canvases. Lewis received his M.F.A. from the Tufts University and his B.F.A from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. He has exhibited at Golden Street Gallery in New London, CT. This is the first solo show in New York for both Williams and Lewis.