Kent Williams, Amalgam: Paintings & Drawings, 1992-2007, with text by Edward Lucie-Smith and Julia Morton, is the most comprehensive collection of Williams' work to date. From 1983-1985, Williams was a regular contributor to Marvel Comics' Epic Illustrated. Williams was the regular cover artist for Vertigo's Hellblazer in 1990-1991. This always fascinating artist has incorporated the best of both worlds of illustration and fine painting, drawing from the extremes of imagination usually the purview of the graphic novel illustrator and then blending those dream states or nightmares into luxuriant color and formal compositions that find his paintings growing in influence and frequent exhibitions throughout the country.
Williams paints with a keen eye on the subject of each painting - usually a human form and then usually a nude female form - refining his observations of anatomy very well, allowing him to spread his wilder pigment approaches to the periphery or setting for his image. His canvases are luxuriously rich in color and motion: nothing is still for a moment without the eyes traveling to try to organize the matrix as keenly as the artist has rendered his observed model. At times his subjects become surreal, splitting in fragments with broad swipes of thick impasto paint. He often references older painters in this works, artists such as Rodin, Egon Schiele, Odd Nerdrum and other contemporary painters in the range of Jenny Saville or Cecily Brown and Yongbo Zhao who deal with the figure in dark, erotic ways. He is an artist who once seen becomes unforgettable and this book is an especially fine monograph, especially with Edward Lucie-Smith's always enlightening essays. Grady Harp, May 11