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DCA Archive

Rachel Eulena Williams

Hair and Body

This exhibition by New York-based artist Rachel Eulena Williams will debut a new body of work expanding upon Williams’s exuberant use of colour, her radical approach to materials and the playfulness and vitality of her practice.  

Marking the artist's first major solo exhibition in a UK public institution, the exhibition will showcase a new body of work across painting, sculpture and installation. Her work upends traditional approaches to colour and form by expanding her ideas beyond the canvas rectangle; incorporating print, assemblage and bricolage to create multidimensional and layered shapes which seep and blend into their surroundings.  

Williams will take full advantage of DCA’s light and expansive spaces to play with scale and create considerable installations to fill the largest of the two galleries.  In Gallery 1, Williams will showcase canvas-based works which blur the line between sculpture and painting. These utilise every inch of negative space, even the overlooked back of the canvas, which is painted in a solid hue to cast coloured shadow on the wall, incorporating the building itself into the work.  

These exercises in bending and blurring borders will develop further by incorporating the walls of Gallery 2 into a work mirroring the artist’s deconstructed canvasses. Central to the installation will be a new commission consisting of Williams’s signature bold colours, strips of canvas and rope suspended from the ceiling to create a playful swing-like structure.

About the artist:

Williams received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York in 2013. Her work has been exhibited internationally at PACE Gallery, New York (2021), Canada Gallery, New York (2020), Loyal Gallery, Stockholm (2019), Ceysson & Bénétière, Sainte Etienne (2018), Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2018), Derek Eller Gallery, New York (2018), Cooper Cole, Toronto (2018), The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2017), Mass Gallery, Austin (2017), SomeTime Salon, San Francisco (2017), and Center Street, New York (2017). 

Williams has held the SIP Fellowship at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York (2019), 68 Projects, Berlin (2018; 2020), and NY Studio Factory, Brooklyn (2014). 

Images: Ruth Clark