MFA graduate work final evaluations
"William entered the program with the desire to increase the "overall structural cohesiveness" of his work. While in the program he studied the structure of language, the relationship between language and thought, and the relationships between language, thought, and form (visual and musical). He followed these interests to the deepest level, to the level of energy fields and systems of pure pattern, geometric structures of form and proportion. Supported by scientific findings in physics as well as metaphysical texts William's process paper discusses language as an energy wave and looks at the structural correlations between linguistics and visual compositional form. He discusses in great depth what he refers to as "his process of artifice manifold instrumentation", the process he uses when composing a work of art. He makes a case for universality based on the fundamental nature of the physical universe knowable only through patterns of waveforms manifested in sound, color, and geometry. He sees himself as " a beholder of the human spiritual condition in search of the most effective way to express the human experience." This twenty-year project intensified during his time in the program where his high modernist ideas were challenged by postmodern perspectives. He is graduating from the program with a new clarity and resolve, his position crystallized by the rigor of his experience.
William is very well read and his research while he was in the program spanned the fields of medicine, physics, mathematics, philosophy, art history and criticism, music theory and world religious practices. He has worked consistently in the studio on a body of work that reflects his philosophy. He has created sculptures, paintings, and an installation designed to test his theories about the relationship between sound and color. This installation which was experiential, performative and interactive was intended to enhance his ability to communicate his ideas to his peers in the program. By collecting responses during the residency William was able to increase the support among fellow students for his ideas of universality, which are heavily contested in the current art world. He does however continue to be passionately committed to his beliefs concerning art. It was been a pleasure to work with William and to get a glimpse into his process."
Ellen McMahon, Dissertation Faculty Advisor Summary Evaluation
"William completed a full semester’s work both in studio work and discussion. At first I was worried that he wasn’t making enough work but over time I came to believe and understand that in this artists case simple production wasn’t proof of exploration or learning. By design William’s progress is slow and methodical, a developing set of discreet and incremental adjustments characterize the work while the intuitive and spontaneous work as a compelling counterpoint to its theoretical framework. The amount of artwork he produced was paced appropriately to the complexity of his content. The work exhibited a distinct and verifiable progress both in theory and practice. It is truly the quality of each piece that is paramount. Time is measured here not in production rates or hours but introspection and precision. It is graduate level work.
William is a philosopher/painter very concerned with the spiritual quality of experience. ( In a social context, what could be more pertinent in the world’s present condition ). The risks he explores are great since each painting pits his worldview against his kinaesthetic and emotional response to the materials and moment. Each painting represents a point in time and attempt to reach a pre-language, non-verbal communicative end. Formula insures a focus and intensity for the artist and viewer that summarise the very human experience of painting. The works have started to engage on a meditative level through color surface, texture, tension and a mandala like composition that transcends the eye candy property of simple formal manipulations. The choice of metal like blue hues and acrylic mediums confirm the works contemporaneous nature. William is now more highly aware of the complex relationship of painting image to painting object and painting object to society than when we first met. William was always prepared to meet with me. He read what I suggested, made notes and responded to criticism with positive and constructive activity. Our meetings were extremely productive and I felt had a strong impact on the work that followed. I don’t think there are many hours where William is not thinking, researching or working."
Leslie Lerner, Art Final Studio Evaluation