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Casey Williams

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Statement/Biography

Casey Williams (1947-2013) was well known for his photographs of the Houston Ship Channel, a body of work that spanned over two decades. Williams was fascinated by the patterns found in the water and the worn surfaces of ships hulls, and intentionally alludes to the Abstract Expressionists. In framing the side of a ship with the camera lens, Williams reveals the uncalculated marks left on the boat by workers, water, and time, and the more purposeful acts of the artist, who paints, scrapes, and repaints. Williams combined straight forward photography skills with computer-based digital technology. His distinctive image-making practice was one that imbues the smallest and most imperceptible change of light with a poetic kind of ascendancy. Although Williams has used canvas as a base with prior photographic imagery, his later works are printed onto Dibond aluminum surface producing an infinitely detailed image, where the aluminum base adds to the image’s reflectivity further animating the subject.


Casey Williams received his B.F.A. from the University of Texas in 1970 and his M.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1976. In 1999, he received an Individual Artist Grant and Fellowship Award from CACHH, the Cultural Arts Council of Houston Harris County. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including: Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont; Diverseworks in Houston; New Orleans Museum of Art; Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston; The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Williams' work has been widely collected by institutions such as: the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, University of Texas in Austin, Renaissance Boston Hotel, ATT (formerly SBC Collection in San Antonio), Frito Lay Collection in Plano, and the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas.