Lisa Williamson was born in 1977 in Illinois. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She received her MFA in 2008 from the University of Southern California, and her BFA from Arizona State University. She has shown in the United States and Europe. Her work has been exhibited in major public institutions such as the Hammer Museum, and at the California Biennial, as well as many commercial spaces including Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago, and The Box Gallery in Los Angeles. Her work is the first to be included in our new section of Studio Beat Wish List that features artists who we fantasize about doing studio visits with.
If I could ask Lisa Williamson a question, I would ask her how she begins. Does she start by looking at the common everyday objects that her work consequently visually associates with? Or does she, like so many artists, begin by playing with materials and seeing how the objects, the fabric that they consist of, speak to their coming form–a fate proposed by material.
I’m seduced by many facets of Williamson’s work. One major factor is that despite their casualist spirit, each piece is highly refined and specific. The glossy paint colour feels indicative of describing a personality trait of an imagined of the object. Each work I’ve viewed echoes a human quality through a furniture-like form. I love the idea of a personified object world because I feel in one way or another, the things we make are extensions of ourselves.
Williamson allows the aesthetics of contemporary design, residual elements of modernist painting and humour collide in her refreshing and precise sculptural works. I feel as though she has dissected the elements of painting and refashioned them in the studio of a toy or cabinetry maker. This imbues the pieces with a feeling that they could provide some unknown function or movement, but have been stilled by some inexplicable force. Williamson’s work is unabashedly focused on formal decisions–a mode of making that is refreshing and too rarely taken on. These attributes make her a brazen and exciting artist.
View Lisa Williamson’s website here.