Evelyn Williams’ work is almost exclusively figurative. These are not portraits, however, or, mostly, representations of real people. Rather, they are often-repeated puppet-like shapes that represent an emotional state or a part of humanity. They can be amusing, disturbing, quizzical or sometimes calm and reassuring, but they always demand attention. Titles, such as Crowd, Portrait of an Anxious Man or When We Dead Awake, are important and provide context.
This is a comprehensive and large-format retrospective that amply fulfils the brief of its main title, A Life’s Work, carrying with it the sense not merely of a collection, but a corpus. The accompanying text is not the more usual monograph, but rather a series of appreciations by owners, critics and fans. This is right as Evelyn Williams’ work prompts, indeed demands, an emotional rather than an intellectual or academic response.
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