Zoe Williams at Antoine Levi

Artist: Zoe Williams

Exhibition title: The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle

Venue: Antoine Levi, Paris, France

Date: May 18 – June 29, 2018

Photography: Aurélien Mole, all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Antoine Levi, Paris

For her third solo exhibition at the gallery The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, Zoe Williams has produced a series of drawings depicting a fantastical and erotically charged world.

These drawings are set within stained walnut burr frames and installed in relation to a selection of colourful rabbit skins, which scatter the floor. The skins place the drawings within a fragmented scene, acting as a physical echo to the recurrent, fetishistic materialities displayed within the drawings themselves.

The undulating fantasy vignettes displayed through the drawings depict recurrent figures and characters such as; flying gloves, an art nouveau glass fist, numerous glass and plastic sex toys, gems, rabid minks, octopus’ limbs, sausages/turds, green feather capes, whips, cream cakes, green women, embellished cooked skin like boots, and yellowing liquids, all frolicking in and out of the frame. The irreverent use of art historical references and mixture of fairy tale imagery with erotically charged content is also intended to subvert and interrogate the symbolism they embody. The absorption into these psychosexual fantasy realms, the indulgence in folly and the absurd is also intended to be a small practice of defiance and resistance against dominant forms of reason and control. Through this body of work, the artist hopes to consider ways to explore notions of pleasure and fantasy not just through the lens of indulgence, but as a powerful tool for re-imagining.

The drawings illustrate a kind of surreal and recurrent broken narrative focusing around some strong, mainly female orientated beings, whom swap personalities and form as often as their shoes or dildos. Their world is controlled by dominant mink like creatures, who are taking revenge on the glamorous fur and feather clad women they are biting. Meanwhile octopus and their kin are slowly taking an erotically charged hold on the world as it becomes steadily more like a swamp. The work draws on aspects of fashion illustration, art history, psychoanalysis, notions of power exchange, sci-fi and speculative fiction in order to create a lurid and surreal assemblage of interconnected broken narratives and fragments. Finger marks and scratches present the traces of multiple parallel realities.

As part of the exhibition Williams has produced a small run publication incorporating her drawings and reactions to them in poem form by Artist and Writer Susan Finlay.

Susan Finlay works across various media including painting, fashion-textiles and text. Upcoming projects include Objektophilia, a novella serialized in ‘Egress Magazine’, The Brexit Chronicles, an audio-series for Ackerman Daly, and Isodora, a solo exhibition at MoHA, Austin. Her novel,Our Lady of Everything, will be published by Serpent’s Tail in Spring 2019.

Zoe Williams lives and works in London and is represented by Antoine Levi gallery, Paris. Recent solo exhibitions include Morsa, Studio Amaro, Naples; Pel, Antoine Levi, Paris; Soft Paste, The Studio Warehouse Gallery, Glasgow; The Flight of O, Spike Island, Bristol. Significant group projects include (X) A Fantasy, group exhibition and performance commission, DRAF, London; Spring/Summer 2015 , DCA, Dundee; The Chic and The Borderline, cur. by David Roberts Art Foundation, part of Art International Istanbul; Watch yourself, cur. by David Dale Gallery with Video Art Network Lagos and UK:NG Festival, Rele, Lagos; Mood is Made / Temperature Is Taken, GSS, Glasgow; Chateaux Double Wide, collaborative project, Glasgow International Festival 2016; H Y P E R C O N N E C T E D, MMOMA, part of 5th Moscow International Biennale of Young Artists. Forthcoming projects include the Friends and Neighbours Project at Kunstraum, London over Summer 2018.

Zoe Williams, The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, 2018, exhibition view, Antoine Levi, Paris

Zoe Williams, The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, 2018, exhibition view, Antoine Levi, Paris

Zoe Williams, The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, 2018, exhibition view, Antoine Levi, Paris

Zoe Williams, The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, 2018, exhibition view, Antoine Levi, Paris

Zoe Williams, The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, 2018, exhibition view, Antoine Levi, Paris

Zoe Williams, The Unruly Glove, The Green Bum and The Sickly Trickle, 2018, exhibition view, Antoine Levi, Paris

Zoe Williams, Octopus you can fall in love with, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 89,5 x 60,5

Zoe Williams, Fist Idol, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 83 x 59,5

Zoe Williams, Flying gloves fantasy (in assorted colours), 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 24,5 x 18

Zoe Williams, Rear view mirror Mercedes fantasy, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 18 x 24

Zoe Williams, Gate Keeper with Piss Pot and Black Hole, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 18 x 24

Zoe Williams, Glass Fist and Golden Stream worship, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 26 x 33,5

Zoe Williams, Studies for scenes (Mishaps with Fist etc), 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33 x 45

Zoe Williams, Morsa, 2018, Pencil and watercolour crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33 x 45

Zoe Williams, Sunday Fantasy, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33 x 45

Zoe Williams, Party Scene, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33 x 45

Zoe Williams, Queen Minkle, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33,5 x 26,5

Zoe Williams, Muskrat Caresses, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on coloured paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33,5 x 26,5

Zoe Williams, Cranach’s golden handshake, 2018, Pencil and watercolours crayon on paper, in artist’s tinted walnut burr frame, Cm. 33,5 x 26

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