Philemona Williamson

Philemona Williamson’s narrative paintings explore the tenuous bridge between adolescence and adulthood, encapsulating the intersection of innocence and experience at its most piercing and poignant moment. The metaphorical images focus on the transitional period of adolescence, when personal discovery and awareness collide with the force of worldly knowledge. The lush color palette and dreamlike positioning of the figures ensures that their vulnerability – of age, of race, of sexual identity – is seen as strength and not as weakness.

Philemona Williamson has shown widely, with recent shows at June Kelly Gallery in NYC and Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in SF. Her mid-career retrospective was at the Montclair Art Museum in NJ in 2017. Her narrative paintings deal with gender, race and adolescence. Her grants and awards include The Joan Mitchell Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, The NJ State Council on the Arts, as well as artist-in residence at The Joan Mitchell Center and the Millay Colony for the Arts.