Jamie Gray Williams

1989 · United States

Artist biography

Jamie Gray Williams is an early career emerging artist, who originates from the United States, like other well-known artists such as Jeffrey Gibson, Adam Ross, Emily Leonard, Kembra Pfahler, and Tom Burr. Jamie Gray Williams was born in 1989.

Historical Context of United States

The US, in particular New York city, remains as a focal point that has played a significant role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The idea of New York as a new cosmopolitan and highly influential art hub emerged in the post war era, and the city succeeded in affirming its dominance over Paris, which used to be regarded as the most powerful international art centre.

The authority of the political and economic institutions of the United States in the modern sphere has granted the country with a prevailing influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are essential art movements that blossomed in the US. These very movements also reverberated into a myriad of variations, such as diverse forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast variants of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally acclaimed U.S artists of the contemporary period age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Jamie Gray Williams

Born in 1989, Jamie Gray Williams was predominantly influenced by the 1990s. In the United Kingdom, a collective of artists known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, dominated the artistic culture of the decade. They were a loosely affiliated and diverse group, connected generally by their age and nationality. Many of the members had attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by Charles Saatchi, the ‘super collector’ of art at the time. The most well-known member of YBAs is arguably Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). Through their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, the YBAs garnered a controversial public image which was further fuelled by their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was at the same time rebellious and enterprising. The group was predominant in the British art scene in the 1990s and their group show ‘Sensation’ is now viewed as legendary.

The boom in consumerism and advertising that took place in the 1980s influenced a trend in Japan that developed into the art form of manga, which was visually influenced by trends in advertising and graphic design. Takashi Murakami arose as a key figure in the art world, coining the term ‘Superflat’ to describe a theory inspired by the aesthetic characteristics of manga and the nature of post-war Japanese culture. Murakami went on to found the influential Kaikai Kiki group, which was inspired by his experiences living in New York City in the mid-1990s.

Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of making art based on human relations and their social context, became a central idea in the 1990s. Works by artists such as Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as key artists who worked to this agenda.

German artists and ideas strongly influenced trends in conceptual photography during this time. German artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained international recognition, and inspired international artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall, who created images with a cinematic expressiveness that were inspired by the themes present in the German artists’ work. At the same time, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger gained influential status in the field of painting.

The art world was influenced by a number of trends throughout the decade, the controversial, hyper-realistic sculptures of Maurizio Cattelan and the sensitive, conceptual work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres epitomised the atmosphere of the era.

About The Artist

JAMIE GRAY WILLIAMS (b. 1989, Indiana) received her Masters of Fine Arts from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in 2017. Working primarily in painting and drawing, Williams utilizes fantasy and humor to explore questions about inter-subjective limits and the complex relationships of mind and body, imagination and reality, self and others. Williams was a 2015 participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at the Evansville Museum of Arts, History, and Science, Evansville, IN; Pilot Projects, Philadelphia, PA; Selenas Mountain, Ridgewood, NY; Demon Leg, New York, NY; Marvin Gardens, Ridgewood, NY; Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA, and is in the collection of the University of Southern Indiana. Williams currently maintains a studio in Philadelphia and teaches drawing at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

Jamie Gray Williams

  • Exhibitions 2

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