William Singer, From the Depths Above

Exhibition Website

The SCAD Museum of Art presents "From the Depths Above," an exhibition of new work by SCAD alumnus William Singer (M.F.A., painting, 2013). Paintings on paper, drawings and one grand-scale painting make up this exhibition which examines the authority of traditional painting motifs through the artist’s playful interpretation of landscape and portraiture.

The portraits presented in "From the Depths Above" employ expressive marks, a rich palette and various signs and symbols to depict farcical, invented characters. The closely cropped portraits are recognizable as faces, but are twisted and distorted to capture the subjects’ concurrent presence and absence. Inspired by Rembrandt drawings, the artist manipulates the concept of the historically authoritative formal portrait to create an absurd cast of buffoons.

The exhibition’s single large-scale painting on canvas was inspired by historical paintings such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s "Tower of Babel," as well as the artist’s own personal experiences in residency in Boulder, Colorado. The work, an homage to grand narrative painting, subverts traditional interpretations. It was created with an array of paint applications, from washes to scrapes, and represents a departure from the classical to highlight the physicality of the medium.

The drawings in the exhibition are enlarged replications of Singer’s own marks from small parts of his paintings. Through this process, Singer creates new, purely abstract forms from representational pieces.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

  • American
  • Contemporary
  • William Singer

Exhibition Venues & Dates