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Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that Peter Williams has been awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Guggenheim Fellowships are grants that have been awarded annually since 1925 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to those "who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."  Honoring his late father, who was a painter and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968, actor Robert De Niro is underwriting the fellowship for Williams, who is known for his vibrant paintings depicting the diversity of Black Americans.

For more than 45 years Williams has chronicled current and historical events, interspersing pictorial narratives with personal anecdotes and fictional characters in order to create colorful 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. He recently retired from his position as Senior Professor, Fine Arts Department, University of Delaware and taught at Wayne State University for 17 years prior. 

Peter Williams was born 1952 in Nyack, NY and lives in Wilmington, Delaware. Williams earned his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and his BFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He is also a recipient of a 2021 American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize and the 2020 Artists’ Legacy Foundation Artist Award.  In 2020 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and in 2018 the National Academy of Design. Other awards include the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (2018), Joan Mitchell Awards (2004, 2007), Ford Foundation Fellowships (1985, 1987), and McKnight Foundation Fellowship (1983). 

Williams’ many exhibitions include Black Universe (2020) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Narrative and Transition, Trinosophes, Detroit, MI;  Men of Steel, Women of Wonder (2019), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK; River of Styx (2018), Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; With So Little To Be Sure Of (2018), CUE Art Foundation, New York; Prospect.4: The Lotus In Spite Of The Swamp: Prospect Triennial (2017-18), New Orleans, LA; Dark Humor: Peter Williams(2017), Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; The N-Word: Common and Proper Nouns (2017), Ruffin Gallery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; and the Whitney Biennial (2002), Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 

Peter Williams’ paintings are held in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Delaware Art Museum, Davis Museum of Art/Wellesley College, Ft. Wayne Museum of Art, Howard University in Washington DC; Wayne State University, Detroit; as well as numerous private collections including Jorge M. Perez/El Espacio 23, Miami, FL; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; McEvoy Family Collection, San Francisco, CA; Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection/The Bunker, Palm Beach, FL; Mott-Warsh Collection, Flint, MI; Bill and Christy Gautreaux, Kansas City, MO; CCH Pounder, New Orleans, LA; Rev. Al Shands, Louisville, KY; and Kelly Williams and Andrew Forsyth, Palm Beach, FL, and among others. 
Peter Williams is represented exclusively by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

For further information on Peter Williams, please visit his Artistpage. For sales inquiries, please call 310-838-6000, or email:

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