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Peter Williams in the studio.

For more than 40 years Williams has chronicled current and historical events, interspersing pictorial narratives with personal anecdotes and fictional characters in order to create paintings about the diverse experiences of Black Americans. With boldness and humor, he tackles the darkest of subjects including, but not limited to, police brutality, lynching, slavery, mass incarceration, and other realms of racial oppression. Williams uses cultural criticism to form new creation myths, retelling the history of America from fresh and cosmic perspectives.

Peter Williams lives in Wilmington, DE and is Senior Professor in the Fine Arts Department at the University of Delaware. He earned his MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His paintings are held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Howard University, Washington DC; Davis Museum at Wellesley College, MA; CCH Pounder Collection, New Orleans; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; the Mott-Warsh Collection in Flint, MI; The Bunker/Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, Palm Beach; Jorge Perez Collection, Miami; and the McEvoy Foundation, San Francisco, among others.

Peter Williams Cuban Rockety Station, 2019

Peter Williams
Cuban Rockety Station, 2019
Oil on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Head Trip by Black Folks to Another Planet, 2019

Peter Williams
Head Trip by Black Folks to Another Planet, 2019
Oil on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Mortal Ice, 2019

Peter Williams
Mortal Ice, 2019
Oil on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Wormhole, 2019

Peter Williams
Wormhole, 2019
Oil on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams i Fell From the Sky, 2019

Peter Williams
i Fell From the Sky, 2019
Oil on canvas
72 x 96 in.

Peter Williams Black Peoples Oil, 2019

Peter Williams
Black Peoples Oil, 2019
Oil on canvas
72 x 96 in.

Peter Williams Goggles, 2019

Peter Williams
Goggles, 2019
Oil on canvas
72 x 96 in.

Peter Williams Cuathedral, 2019

Peter Williams
Cuathedral, 2019
Oil on canvas
72 x 96 in.

Peter Williams DNA, 2020

Peter Williams
DNA, 2020
Oil on canvas
72 x 96 in.

Peter Williams Birdland, 2020

Peter Williams
Birdland, 2020
Oil on canvas
60 x 72 in.

Peter Williams Control Room, 2019

Peter Williams
Control Room, 2019
Oil on canvas
48 x 60 in.

Peter Williams Pete and Mike, 2019

Peter Williams
Pete and Mike, 2019
Oil on canvas
60 x 48 in.

Peter Williams MAL.COMX, 2019

Peter Williams
MAL.COMX, 2019
Oil on canvas
34 x 34 in.

Peter Williams ROSA PARKS, 2019

Peter Williams
ROSA PARKS, 2019
Oil on canvas
34 x 34 in.

Peter Williams Migration Agents, 2019

Peter Williams
Migration Agents, 2019
Oil on canvas
60 x 48 in.

Peter Williams The Caucasuss, 2019

Peter Williams
The Caucasuss, 2019
Oil on canvas
30 x 48 in.

Peter Williams’s new suite of paintings, entitled “Black Exodus,” uses allegory and satire to explore a new ecologically-focused diaspora. With the earth on the brink of environmental disaster, Williams tells an Afrofuturist tale of a community as it escapes to outer space.  They travel in retrofitted 1950s flying cars named for heroes like “Mal.Colm X” and “ROSA.PARKS,” dream of new planet homes, and commune with bird-creatures who have become harbingers of human destruction. Will Williams’s protagonists remain trapped in a cycle of oppression or will they escape to the stars?

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