REZ WILLIAMS: Twenty paintings on canvas ...
PAINTING THE FLEET, A survey of New Bedford and Fairhaven fishing vessels 1999 – 2012
Rez Williams’ oil on canvas, contemporary maritime paintings of New England’s largest fishing fleet are more than the manifestation of a passion for painting fishing vessels. Whether intended or not, the series immortalizes an endangered fleet which facilitates a way of life for the Portuguese-American community who have significantly contributed to the maritime history of the United States.
It vividly brings to life, in a somewhat fauvist style the wild ocean beasts of the sea harvesters of Nantucket Shoals, George’s Banks and the Great South Channel. The vessels are depicted in leading roles against the backdrop of one of the nation’s major fishing ports and the ocean supporting it. Bold colors, sometimes dramatic, with dynamically hued sky and water lines have become symbolic of Williams’ paintings ~ simultaneously stimulating and pacifying the observer.
Thomas Hoving, the former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art included Rez Williams in a formidable line up of American artists who may be considered to be the Picassos and Monets of the 21st Century, along with names like Frank Stella, Andrew Wyeth and Eric Fischl.