Abbey Williams

June 4, 2021

Aug. 18–Oct. 8, 2021
Art Alliance


The Philadelphia Art Alliance of the University of the Arts is pleased to present an exhibit of recent work by Abbey Williams. 

Primarily a video artist, Williams was born in New York in 1971 and lives and works in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on Hudson, NY in 2003 and her BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY in 1993 and participated at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. 

Williams’ video and collage works are varied. They reveal how Otherness has been manufactured and how social identities and roles such as race, beauty, and motherhood have been constructed, in ways that are subtly shocking and slowly disclosed. There is a sharp pointed humor in her critique; she amalgamates bits of Wall Street Journal exposés, the myth of Bigfoot, Courbet's The Origin of the World, Kenneth Anger Puce Moment and Deren's Meshes in the Afternoon in ways that are literally revealing, sadly funny and shocking.  

Williams’ own work has been exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally. Selected group shows and screenings include TATE Britain, London; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; Studio la Città, Verona, Italy; BAM, NY; The Studio Museum in Harlem, and Williams was a part of the 2005 Greater New York exhibition at MoMA PS1. Solo exhibitions in New York include Bellwether Gallery, Foxy Production, and Sargent's Daughters.

She has been a visiting artist at The Cooper Union, NYU, Harvard, and SOMA Mexico. In addition to her work as an artist, Williams is the Director of the non-profit Art Matters. Since its founding in 1985 by philanthropist Laura Donnelley, the organization has awarded more than $2 million to hundreds of artists. Prior to arriving at Art Matters she worked as Program Manager for Socrates Sculpture Park, Creative Director of The Rusty Fields Project at The Weeksville Heritage Center, and registrar of 80WSE Gallery. 

Her work has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Flash Art, and ARTFORUM. Abbey Williams is represented by Sargent's Daughters gallery in New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

Our exhibitions are free and open to the public.