JDJ is thrilled to present The Lips, the Teeth, the Tip of the Tongue, the artist’s debut solo exhibition at JDJ.

The sweeping gestures, bold colors, and dynamic linework found in Williams’ paintings reflects an interpretation of the relationships between living bodies, their porous boundaries, and how they can be affected or even completely transformed from their interactions with other human or non-human entities. This new body of work takes inspiration from the artist’s experience at the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, where one visitor's lust for nude statues led to public displays of affection.

Williams’ paintings employ soft color fields that are overlaid with crisp, energetic brushwork in contrast to their backgrounds. The precise lines in her paintings—one can think of them as drawings—bring a feeling of coalescence and solidity to the compositions. From these lines, bodies start to emerge, as though the paintings are transforming before our very eyes. A swoop of paint becomes a pointed nose, an angular shape becomes the crook of an arm, a curved, expressive gesture becomes a hip.

While the figures in Williams’ paintings become increasingly clear with extended looking, what exactly they are up to remains opaque. It is as though we have stumbled upon them mid-action, admiring one another with a sense of grappling urgency. Some of these characters evoke a sense of rigidity, and others embody dynamic movement, recalling art historical references such as the curvilinear forms of Brancusi, the angular fragmented bodies of Picasso, and the kinetic energy of Boccioni.

Jamie Gray Williams (b. 1989, Evansville, IN; Lives and works in Philadelphia, PA) earned her MFA from Rutgers University in 2017, and her BA from the University of Southern Indiana, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2015. Her work has recently been exhibited at Venus Over Manhattan, New York, Marvin Gardens, New York, PM/AM, London, and The Pit, Los Angeles among others.