Griff Williams Show Is Nothing If Not a Technical Feat


Through June 28. Tuesday through Friday 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., free; call 433-6879 or visit
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, 49 Geary (at Market), S.F.

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Griff Williams' pieces at Stephen Wirtz combine landscapes broken up into paint-by-number-like color blocks with the artist's signature overlaid graphics: birds and skulls and plant shapes that spiral away into a sharply angled vanishing point. The hallucinatory result draws the viewer in like Alice through the looking glass. Williams, the owner of Gallery 16 and Urban Digital Color, uses resin, enamel, stencils, and the occasional digital printer to render these Rorschach-blot-like amalgams, and while the work seems tangentially related to the current proliferation of visionary art and the explosion of birds and butterflies, its technical proficiency really puts it into a category of its own. The title of the show is a quote from Moby Dick, and it seems appropriate considering Williams' fascination with color. After all, the first part of the quote is "There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast."

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