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It has been far too long since Simon McWilliams had a solo exhibition in his native Belfast, and the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s is delighted to be hosting his first showcase in the city in almost two decades. Having exhibited widely in UK, Ireland and the US, McWilliams is recognized as a unique painterly voice nationally and internationally. Abstract Armature opens on Thursday 10th April, 6 – 8pm, and it will continue until Sunday 18th May.
McWilliams’ powerful and majestic canvases will fill the gallery with vibrant colours, instantly seducing visitors. The arresting paintings are abstracted from actual buildings painted in bold saturated colours and isolated on plain backgrounds; the abstracted forms surrounded by shadows, smoke and graffiti. The influence of science fiction on McWilliams’ body of work is palpable: the architectonic structures are futuristic; they fluctuate between space and time.
At first glance mankind seems absent in the mysterious and colourful world of Simon McWilliams, but a closer look reveals the presence of tiny figures in some paintings. Men are functional to the buildings; they are mere objects at the mercy of these structures. The urban predominates with the natural elements confined to representations of the hermetically sealed world of the palm house. The imposing architecture reaffirms its presence in each one of McWilliams’ canvases, and the viewer is left unsettled and exhilarated about their form and function.
Exhibition continues until 18 May
Artist’s talk on Saturday 12th April, 12pm, Naughton Gallery