Threads of light
Todd Williams has assimilated and elaborated the lesson of Mark Rothko, the great American artist, in an admirable manner: the horizontal line which runs like a red thread through his entire stylistic research is characteristic of an aesthetic movement rooted in the great master’s “color fields” which have influenced an entire generation of painters, not only in an American context but on an international level.
Rothko’s monochrome “color fields” have been re-elaborated, with the addition of a score of horizontal lines which form a succession from the top downwards, and blades of light that are suddenly interjected, piercing the mind rather than the eye of the observer.
In the text I recently wrote on Williamson, for his individual exhibition “Horizons” presented in Naples last February, I have had the opportunity to dwell on this horizontal pattern which is superimposed on the monochrome color field, likening it to a kind of musical score which, from the indistinct chaos of sounds, from mere noise, creates a melody.
His interior need to bring order to his system of thought and pictorial research has made Williamson proceed by defining a kind of pictorial score, a kind of web or plot for reading his work. The artist feels the need to converge and order his instinctive creativity within a kind of plot; this makes him focus his emotionality and innermost feelings, rather than disperse them. The lines are a plot, inspired by the artist’s interiority and emotions.
The plot, the score or, if we want, the grid, do not constrain, compress or hinder the projection of the emotions; rather, they serve to “organize” and focus them.
The indiscriminate chaos of pure color, in its free and “confused” state, is organized by a repetition of horizontal lines which, in any case, seem to venture beyond the canvas, invading the walls around it and continuing in an existential projection aimed towards a universal infinite.
The lines give the entire pictorial construction both movement and three-dimensionality. They are a true “system” for reading the work and what is behind it.
Projections or expansions of the mind, rather than of matter, towards the universality of shared sentiments. Mental rather than physical horizons, which go beyond the incidental, ranging from individual interiority to a universal emotionality. The horizons W has in mind are much ampler than the I.
The monochrome background of his works seem to hide other meanings; something always seems to surface from the field: a message, a contact, a shade, an entity. Something, through which one may glimpse and search for one’s innermost feelings, experience, emotional secrets.
The shades appear to be our own; they are projected on the canvas and reflect themselves onto us once more, in a relationship of emotional exchange between the artist, the work and the observer.
His works always have a hidden meaning, a reading that goes “beyond”, something more than what appears at first glance, which inevitably triggers an emotional or passionate reaction.