The upcoming exhibition of Upstate artist and arts educator Hague Williams at the Artists Collective | Spartanburg represents a new area of exploration of printmaking. “Slice: Scattered, Covered and Smothered,” from Jan. 31 through Feb. 25 in Gallery III, “brings together disparate methods of printmaking by creating unique prints that defy the traditional methods of printmaking while still relying on the pull of ink through a screen,” Williams says.
“For more than 25 years, I have been exploring the mediums of screen-printing, multimedia, installation and collage,” Williams continues. “Combining computer-generated images from symbols, motifs and signifiers throughout different periods – contemporary and ancient and everything in between – a sort of mining of symbology throughout time. These get mashed up, layered, sliced and recombined in a final result, often revealing and hiding these signifiers and symbols we recognize and identify, if only subconsciously.”
Williams wants to illustrate for the viewer that “digital imaging and printmaking methods can be used in unique and exciting ways to create an image without a traditional print edition.”
“Transformation and the catalysts that precipitate change over time are primary sources of motivation for my work. The mechanisms of visual persuasion, such as flags, logos and emblems – referencing anthems, rituals and other social-bonding experiences – become the organizing principles for my work,” he continues. “As a printmaker and artist, I am predictably interested in such change methods. Process is an integral part of my work. I am searching for the next translation, the following transformation, as seen through the eyes of history, by the ones that make and experience or suffer that history.”
With a background in media and design, Williams says he weaves “complex and multilayered compositions that address formal concerns. At the same time, I infuse meaning by using contemporary symbols of power, branding, advertising and signifiers that blur the distinction between governments, religion and corporations. These source images are recontextualized into motifs and patterns that overlap and interact to present the viewer with something chaotic and intricate yet, at the same time, familiar.”
Williams received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and taught there for 10 years, including as assistant director for the Prague Studio Program. He received a BA in art and a BA in multimedia arts with distinction from the University of North Carolina Asheville. He has exhibited in Chicago; Los Angeles; the Czech Republic; the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth, Michigan; the Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden, Netherlands; and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
The 18 works in the exhibition will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from $300 to $1,200.