Born in Port-au-Prince and raised in Miami, Didier William draws on Haitian history, mythology and his personal experiences to explore the legacies of colonialism, resistance and the struggle for agency and identity. William’s powerful mixed media compositions lie halfway between figuration and abstraction. The epic, otherworldly bodies are composed of hundreds of tiny carved eyes that invite a haptic experience— an intimate, shared looking with the viewer that collapses physical and temporal planes.

 

Didier William (b. 1983, Port-au-Prince, Haiti) earned his BFA in painting from The Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University, School of Art. William’s work was the subject of a 2020 solo exhibition at the Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA. His work has also been exhibited at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford, CT), Bronx Museum of Art, Museum of Latin American Art (Long Beach, CA), Museum at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia, PA), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Bentonville, AR), Museum of the African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA), James Fuentes Gallery (New York), and Anna Zorina Gallery (New York). His work has received critical recognition from FAD Magazine, The New York TimesLos Angeles TimesHyperallergicHarpers MagazineNew York Magazine and Art In America. William was an artist in residence at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation (Brooklyn, NY) and has taught at several institutions including Yale School of Art, Vassar College, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania and SUNY Purchase. He is currently Assistant Professor at Rutgers University. Didier William lives and works in Philadelphia.

Born
   
  1983, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
   
EDUCATION
   
2009 MFA, Painting and Printmaking, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2007 BFA, Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
   
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
   
2021 Dance, Without Incident, M+B, Los Angeles, CA
2020 Pulse, M+B, Los Angeles, CA
  Pulse, James Fuentes Gallery, New York, NY
  Lakou, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
2019 Broken Skies, Art Basel Miami, NOVA Section, Miami, FL
2018 Curtains, Stages, and Shadows, Act 1, James Fuentes Gallery, New York, NY
  Curtains, Stages, and Shadows, Act 2, Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, NY
  The Aesthetics of Matter, curated by Micklene Thomas and Racquel Chevremont, VOLTA NY Anna Zorina Gallery, NY
2017 We Will Win, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York, NY
  Swarm, with Nestor Armando Gil, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
2015 Camouflage, Hap Gallery, Portland, OR
2010 Didier William, Galerie Schuster, Berlin, Germany
   
GROUP EXHIBITONS
   
2021 10, PM/AM, London, UK
  Phantom Body, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY
  Dancing in Dark Times, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London, UK
2020 Afrocosmologies: American Reflections, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
  There will come soft rains, Stellar Projects, New York, NY
  Painting Is Its Own Country, curated by Dexter Wimberly, The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture, Charlotte, NC
  State of the Art II, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
  Building a better monument, Art at a time like this, online exhibition curated by Steph Rodney
  Theft & Found, MiM Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2019 The Gag, curated by Devan Shimoyama, De Buck Gallery, New York, NY
  Coffee, Rhum, Sugar & Gold: A Postcolonial Paradox, Museum of African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA
  They Gaze, James Fuentes Gallery, New York, NY
  As long as we are flyin’ all this world ain’t got no end, Luce Gallery, Torino, Italy
  Bed, Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2018 ZIG ZAG ZIG, DC Moore Gallery, New York, NY
  Swarm, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
  Strange Looks, Gildar Gallery, Denver, CO
  ISNESS, curated by Austin Thomas, Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY
  Aesthetics of Matter, curated by Mickalene Thomas, Volta Art Fair, NY
2017 Swarm, PRIZM Art Fair, Miami, FL (2-person exhibition with Nestor Armando Gil) Fold Ten, C.R Ettinger Studio, Philadelphia, PA
  Passenger Pigeon Press Anniversary Show, La Maison D’Art, New York, NY
  Accordion Space, Feigenbaum Center for Visual Arts, Union College, Schenectedy, NY
  Relational Undercurrents, as part of the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time initiative, at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA
2016 Enlarged Fern, Moskowitz Bayse, Los Angeles, CA
2015 The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, curated by Katy Grannan, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  Bronx Calling, curated by Hatuey Ramos-Fermin and Laura Napier, Bronx Museum of the Arts, Bronx, NY
2014 No More Place, Alferro Gallery, Newark, NJ
  Improvised Showboat, curated by Lauren Bitton and Katherine Bradford, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Mark, Scrape, Wipe, Shape, organized by Spaceshifter Projects and curated by Sangram Majumdar and Karla Wozniak, Brooklyn NY
2011 Artquake, organized by Haiti Cultural Exchange, Brooklyn, NY
  Momenta Art Benefit, Loretta Howard Gallery, New York, NY
  Intersecting Cultures/Virtual Worlds, Underground Gallery, Miami, FL
2010 I’ll Let You Be in My Dreams, If I Can Be in Yours, Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York, NY
  Nice to Meet You, Sloan Fine Art, New York, NY
  Artquake, Renaissance Fine Art, New York, NY
2009 The Open, curated By Dodie Kazanjian, Deitch Projects, Long Island City, NY Summer Exhibition, Kravets Wehby Gallery, NY, NY
2008 New Akademiks, Galerie Schuster, Berlin Germany
  Transformers, Gateway/BlackBox Gallery, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
   
AWARDS AND RESIDENSCIES
   
2020 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant
2019 The Fountainhead Residency, Miami, FL
2018 Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Art, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
2014 Artist in the Market Place, The Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY
2012 Artist in Residence. Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, Brooklyn, NY
2011 Hearst Foundation Grant Recipient, New York, NY
2010 Hearst Foundation Grant Recipient, New York, NY
2009 Hearst Foundation Grant Recipient, New York, NY
  Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship for Painting
2008 MFA Student Fellowship, Yale University School of Art
2007 Morris Louis Award for Excellence in Painting
  Maryland Citation for Excellence in the Arts, Office of Senator Verna Jones
  MFA Student Fellowship, Yale University School of Art
   
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
   
2021 Westall, Mark. “”10” – A Powerful Exhibiton of Cutting Edge Artists Examining the Ways in Which the Body is Understood During a Transformative Period in History”. FAD Magazine. May 18
  Reese, Ashante M. “Tarry With Me. Reclaiming Sweetness in an Anti-Black World”. Oxford Magazine. Spring
  Didier William, monograph, James Fuentes Press, New York, NY
2020 Didier William: Lakou, exhibition catalogue, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
  Stopa, Jason. “In the Studio with Didier William: “The Last Size Months Have Deeply Affected my Practice. I came Back to the Body” MOMUS. September 18.
2019 Mor, Ricardo. “What Stuck at Art Basel Miami Beach,” Cultured Magazine, December 8.
  Graeber, Laurel. “In Didier William’s Art, There is More than Meets the Eyes,” The New York Times, December 3
  Glenn, Allison. “Didier William,” Art Papers, December
  Yau, John. “A Fresh Direction for Printmaking,” Hyperallergic, November 30
  Samduzi, Zoe. “A Caribbean Present Steeped in a Colonial Past,” Hyperallergic, July 29
  Sánchez González, Julian. “12 Artists of the Caribbean and its Diaspora Who are Shaping Contemporary Art,” Artsy Editorial, July 25
2018 “Best of 2018: Our Top 20 NYC Art Shows,” Hyperallergic, December 18
  Hrag, Vartanian. “Didier William on Painting a Revolution,” Hyperallergic, November 29
  “What to see in New York Galleries,” The New York Times, November 14
  Rodney, Seph, “How to Envision the Revolution,” Hyperallergic, November 14
  Hirsch, Faye. “Didier William.” Art in America Magazine, December 1
2017 Kallinovski, Roman. “Coloneobaroque: Didier William at Tiger Strikes Asteroid,” Art Critical Magazine, November 19
  Smith, Roverta. Heinrich, Will. Schwendener, Martha. Farago, Jason. “What to see in New York Galleries: Didier William,” The New York Times, November 8
  D’agostino, Paul. “A Haitian Artists Mesmerizing Eyes,” Hyperallergic, November 4
  Butler, Sharon. “Didier William: The Unblinking Eye,” Two Coats of Paint, November 6
  Eckharrdt, Kohler, William. “Painting Lives: Mark, Scrape, Wipe, Shape, at Spaceshifter,” The Huffington Post, December 6
2015 Bibeau, Petra. “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” Art Practical, August 12
2014 Joy Chris. “Didier William: Studio Visit Painter's Table,” Gorky’s Granddaughter, April 15
   
TEACHING
   
  Rutgers University, Assistant Professor in Expanded Print (2019-present)
  Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Chair of the MFA Program (2016-2019)
  University of Pennsylvania, Penn Design, Visiting Critic (2018)
  Vassar College, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, Drawing and Printmaking (2010-2016)
  Columbia University, School of the Arts, Graduate Critic (2015)
  Yale University School of Art, Lecturer/Critic, (2013)
  SUNY Purchase School of Art and Design, Adjunct Assistant Professor, 2D Processes, Basic Drawing, Figure Drawing (2012-2014)
  Yale Norfolk Summer School of Art, Residential Faculty, Experimental Printmaking and Studio Critic (2011-2015)
   
PERMANENT COLLECTION
   
  Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA
  Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
  Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
  Mandeville Gallery at Union College, Schenectady, NY
  Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN
  The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, Asbury, NJ
  Smithsonian American Art Museum, Cambria Heights, NY
  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
  JPMorgan Chase Art Collection