Brittney Leeanne Williams

My work explores the Black body as a site of suffering, memorialization, and transcendence.

—  Brittney Leeanne Williams' about her practice on Joan Mitchell Foundation.


Victorville and the Shoreline 2. 2020. Image from artist's website.

Brittney Leeanne Williams explores female emotional dexterity through form by portraying contorted bodies as being vessels for their experiences, memories, traumas, and resilience.

For the past several years she has manifested this through her series of red female figures molded against a surrealist background inspired by her upbringing in California. In some, the bodies are subjects against the landscape, and in others they are pressed in as part of the landscape itself.

We love seeing the interplay between these figures with their surroundings and the immediate emotional response each one elicits. We were particularly pleased to have "The Gateway Out", as it has a slightly different take from her other works.

The uncharacteristically blue figure in this example bends forward over the familiar red landscape as if to exude control its pose. Moreover, although the shape and the burdens of the figure do not go away, there is a sense of containment in that she is not seemingly forced into the landscape but rather chooses to to frame it. It is in that agency that a sense of hope arises, and a gateway to a world beyond is presented as an end reward for the viewer.


A Bridge from Garden to Desert. 2020. Image from artist's website.

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