Todd Williamson

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Todd Williamson (2016) Todd WILLIAMSON, Screen shot 05 Aug 2016 in front of No Say At All (60x60in), Oil on canvas (2013).jpg
Todd Williamson (2016)

Todd Williamson (born January 24, 1964 in Cullman, Alabama) is an American artist specializing in contemporary abstract expressionism.



Development and artistic influence

Searching the Void (2016) Todd WILLIAMSON, Searching the Void (36x48in), Oil on canvas (2016).jpg
Searching the Void (2016)

Todd Williamson was born and raised in Cullman, Alabama. In 1984 he began his artistic career with art and music study at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Come 1986, Williamson was recruited to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to work with their theatre for one year. He then returned to the Belmont University and concluded his study program with a BA in 1988. In the following year, Williamson moved to California and studied at California State University, and UCLA, working towards his MA. Since 2004, Williamson works as a professional artist in Los Angeles. [1]

Besides being stimulated by the works of Mark Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Barnett Newman and Helen Frankenthaler, his works include elements of classical modern art, with references to the Chiaroscuro technique, and to the California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70's. Williamson has been deeply influenced by his early musical studies. His works attempt to show the connection between art and the expression of music, [2] the objective being to give the viewer an all-embracing artwork ("Gesamtkunstwerk") of "musical art" or "visual music". [3]

Style and techniques

Chasing Butterflies (2015) Todd WILLIAMSON, Chasing Butterflies (72x72in), Oil on canvas (2015).jpg
Chasing Butterflies (2015)

Williamson's paintings are structured color compositions, effected by the abstract expressionism, and an enhancement of the Color field painting. While the color field painting is marked by large-scale, homogeneously filled fields, Williamson interprets this style in a new manner: His works are mostly composed of multilayered color grids which differentiate themselves symmetrically of each other or go over into each other. [4] He does this by using a variety in thickness of paint as well as a series of lines and grids which create a framework to control the chaos and emotion of the painted color-fields, creating an ethereal and multi-layered surface. The borders which are typical for the color field painting become blurred; to its place steps the impression of the complete works which connects the structure of the underground with the play of the colors.

Williamson dealt first with figurative art, and has developed mono-chromatic works since about 1990. His mono-chromatic works are not necessarily limited to the dominance of only one color. However, many of his latest works are characterized by parallel lines which move in both horizontal, and vertical direction. [5] He often uses contrasts in the form of bright and dark dividing lines which split his work by adding and leaving out light. For example, at the prelude and the end of a partiture. Williamson tries in this manner to create a bridge from expressionist painting to musical expressionism. [6]


Todd Williamson's works have been shown in over 60 exhibitions worldwide. His work is in numerous collections around the world and was included in the permanent collection of the Pio Monte della Misericordia in 2015 where it hung next to Caravaggio's Seven Works of Mercy for a period of time. Besides single exhibitions e.g. in Milan, Montreal, Paris, Rome and Venice, joined exhibitions were put in Abu Dhabi, Berlin, Shanghai and Peking together with artists like Ed Ruscha, Jenny Holzer, Chuck Close and Robert Ryman. Williamson has also done a number of public art works including the Sun America Building in Century City, the California Bar Association Los Angeles, the Nashville International Airport as well as the Aria Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. [7]

Works in public collections (selection)

Honors and awards


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  1. La Repubblica dated November 26, 2015
  2. Arte de Camera by Peter Frank, Los Angeles, October 2015
  3. Polyphony of a Landscape by Cynthia Penna. ART 1307 Istituzione Culturale, Neapel and Los Angeles, October 2015
  4. Mario Franco: Todd Williamson tra musica e pittura, in: La Repubblica dated November 26, 2015
  5. The Perfect Line, in: West Hollywood Magazine dated November 11, 2014, p. 94-95
  6. Emanuele Leone Emblema: Williamson: Napoli è la luce, in: Il Denaro dated April 21, 2012
  7. The Perfect Line, in: West Hollywood Magazine dated November 11, 2014, p. 94-95