This exhibition celebrates the recent gift to the Museum of 12 drawings by Alabama native Hugh Williams (American, 1928–2018). Known for his innovative and creative approach to his drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture, Williams was also a beloved and influential professor of art at Auburn University from 1957 until his retirement as Alumni Professor Emeritus of Art in 1992—although he continued to teach for many years.
Included in this group of drawings are examples from three different series. Williams’ abstracted landscapes stem from his observations of nature and his environment, both here and from his extensive travels. He grew up on the land where he lived as an adult and witnessed the evolution from a rural and agrarian landscape to one that was slowly being encroached upon by urban development. For the wire drawings, he found inspiration in sculptures he created based upon old fence wire seen along the roadsides while driving to and from town or working on his property. In these drawings he depicts the wire sculpture and the shadows they cast in fluid and rhythmic forms that create overlapping patterns. In his drawings of gospel singers, Williams portrays them passionately singing, mouths wide open, mid-song. These drawings provide insight into the mind and process of one of Alabama’s most prolific and inventive artists.
Above: Hugh Oliver Williams (American, 1928–2018), Wire Drawing #18, 2008, latex on paper, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Sharon Lemoine, 2021.12.6
Williams’ abstracted landscapes stem from his observations of nature and his environment, both here and from his extensive travels.
Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.
Support for this exhibition was provided by co-sponsors Captrust; Mr. and Mrs. L. Daniel Morris, Jr.; and Dr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Newman, Jr.