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Robin F. Williams
Gold Panner, 2013
oil on canvas
72 ins. diameter
182.9 cm

Robin F. Williams
Gold Panner, 2013
oil on canvas
72 ins. diameter
182.9 cm

P·P·O·W is pleased to present Robin F. Williams’ second solo exhibition at the gallery entitled Sons of the Pioneers. Through a series of paintings Williams challenges the roles of American masculinity and traditional portraiture by replacing the idyllic female, or odalisque, with romanticized scenes of men in various states of idleness. The narratives depicted circle around an inverted version of manifest destiny wherein men abandon their conquests and choose stillness, allowing the next frontier to be an inward quest. Through various painting techniques and a neon palette, Williams drapes each figure with mixed identities that mask traditional signifiers of purpose and patriarchy in order to construct a new and sympathetic masculine mythology.

Williams presents each portrait from her position as the “other,” using the tondo as a strategy to reinforce the voyeuristic, peeping nature of the artist’s gaze. In the works Hunter, Astronaut, Onlooker and Sun Hat Sunset, she adorns each male with ornamental hats and accessories, allowing them to reflect sensibilities not typically associated with the male portrait. In these works, Williams repeats patterns and foliage so to weave her subjects together while consciously shifting her treatment of the paint to simultaneously create a sense of individualism for each character.  Using external props, some self made and others her own clothing, Williams is able to further reflect the subject’s sense of a shared identity, complicating the concept of otherness. 

Robin F. Williams
Onlooker, 2013
oil on panel
48 x 48 in.
121.92 x 121.92 cm

Robin F. Williams
Onlooker, 2013
oil on panel
48 x 48 in.
121.92 x 121.92 cm

Sons of the Pioneers continues Williams’ exploration of psychological portraiture and marks a departure from her depiction of children, which was the focus of her previous exhibitions. It is evident in these works that Williams’ painting techniques have continued to develop alongside her expanded subject matter. Within these works Williams draws resemblance from the innovative mark making of post-impressionist Georges-Pierre Seurat, to the paintings of Mary Cassat that re-cast the role of women over a century ago, to the psychedelic pallet of nineties graphic designer Lisa Frank.

Robin F. Williams was born in Ohio in 1984 and currently lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  She has been included in numerous exhibition in New York and California. Williams has been honored as the Josephine Mercy Heathcote Fellow at The MacDowell Colony and the 2010 Brooklyn Academy “Playbill Artist.”

Exhibited Works

Exhibited Works Thumbnails
Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Astronaut, 2013
oil on panel
48 1/4 x 42 3/4 in.
122.56 x 108.59 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Cave Painting, 2014
oil on canvas
102 x 79 in.
259.8 x 200.66 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Beachsitter, 2013
oil on panel
59 3/4 x 44 in.
151.77 x 111.76 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Man in Tall Grass, 2014
oil on canvas
70 x 40 in.
177.8 x 101.6 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Man Treading, 2012
gouache and colored pencil on paper
30 x 44 in.
76.2 x 111.76 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
The Gardeners, 2013
oil on canvas
72 x 40 in.
182.88 x 101.6 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Astronaut, 2013
oil on panel
48 1/4 x 42 3/4 in.
122.56 x 108.59 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Cave Painting, 2014
oil on canvas
102 x 79 in.
259.8 x 200.66 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Beachsitter, 2013
oil on panel
59 3/4 x 44 in.
151.77 x 111.76 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Man in Tall Grass, 2014
oil on canvas
70 x 40 in.
177.8 x 101.6 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
Man Treading, 2012
gouache and colored pencil on paper
30 x 44 in.
76.2 x 111.76 cm

Robin F. Williams

Robin F. Williams
The Gardeners, 2013
oil on canvas
72 x 40 in.
182.88 x 101.6 cm

Installation Views

Installation Views Thumbnails
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams
Robin F. Williams