August 5th – October 5th, 2008
Manning Williams is a native of Charleston and has established himself as a prominent figure in South Carolina art circles over the past forty years. Mr. Williams graduated from the College of Charleston where he received traditional instruction in painting and formal technique and later attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where he experimented briefly with the potential of abstraction.
He is best known for his large-scale, carefully rendered representational art, including a series of lowcountry scenes commissioned in 1985 by the Charleston County Aviation Authority for installation at Charleston’s International Airport. Yet during the past thirty years he never has abandoned completely the forms found in his early abstract painting.
The work on display at the Florence Museum represents Williams’s ongoing vision for the past 18 years, which is a clear shift towards an abstract mode of expression. Many of these works draw on conventions of comic strip art combined with an inner personal vocabulary of forms and symbols that suggest an elusive narrative. The scale of the paintings range from the tremendous to the intimate and invite the viewer to fill in the gaps where a story seems to begin and where it leads.