Nothing by Conquest, a pop-up exhibition of work by NIKI Williams (BFA 2016), will be on display at the Institute for the Humanities Common Room from January 7 — February 17, 2017.
NIKI Williams’ pictographic paintings harken back historically to cave painting, action painting, expressionism, and the early graffiti movement. Informed as much by the reign of artists like Paul Klee and Jackson Pollock as Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring. This is not to suggest the work is derivative, but rather to place NIKI within context and long history of mark making, its power in regards to self-expression, social commentary, and political protest.
NIKI creates his large-scale works on the floor, dripping enamel onto the canvas. Often, his visual works are incorporated in his performances, another facet of his artistic practice. The paintings embody the stage and space, their action packed gestural quality almost an extension of the body.
NIKI also considers his work to be a pushback against traditional history/narrative paintings and the significant role in establishing and reinforcing Western power structures. By creating new narratives and mythologies these through drawing into paint, NIKI hopes to continually challenge these outdated and often inaccurate Eurocentric narratives, making room for new forms, greater diversity and “equality of ideas.”
-Amanda Krugliak, Arts Curator, U‑M Institute for Humanities
NIKI Williams: Nothing by Conquest
January 7 — February 17, 2017
Institute for the Humanities Common Room
Hours: Monday — Friday, 9 am — 5 pm