Megan Williamson is a painter formed by the sophisticated use of the French modernist tradition. Although her paintings may look at first glance especially indebted to the Fauve painters -- Matisse, Marquet, and Roualt, for example -- they contain as well solid abstract structure derived from an understanding of Cubist principles of construction. This of course was also true of the finest of the Fauves. Her double debt to them and to the Cubists is a hallmark of her great compositional acuity. Since the coming and going of Abstract Expressionism, with those exceptions, there has been very little work of an expressionist figurative nature in this country which can claim either her pedigree or her intensity as an artist. An expressionist artist shows herself in the way the brush dances over the canvas, annotating the forms and colors of the motif. But only the very rare expressionist also shows a sensibility refined enough while in the throes of painterly passion to find absolute pictorial locations for these paroxysms of gesture which fulfill their pictorial needs. The exact placement, or exact replacement of every mark and each color must occur for the painting to succeed. And all of this needs to be done at white hot speed. This she seems able to do without fail.
- Gabriel Laderman
Megan Williamson has had 23 solo exhibitions and has been in over 70 group shows. Her work has been shown in Italy, Ireland, Canada, in dozens of venues in the US and is in private and corporate collections around the country. She is a member of Zeuxis: an association of still life painters (NYC), The Midwest Paint Group and 7 on Site. November 2018 will see Chicago's Rare Nest Gallery hosting her solo show, Defying Gravity. Her work has appeared in: The New Art Examiner, The Chicago Tribune, Art New England, American Artist, and Chicago Home and Garden.
Williamson has had residencies at Louisiana ArtWorks in New Orleans and the Ragdale Artist Colony in Lake Forest IL.
In 2014, she had an Innovation Fellowship with the National Science Foundation.
She has taught or been a visiting artist at: Mt. Gretna School of Art, The Chautauqua Institute, SAIC, The Block Museum of Art, the International School of Art in Umbria (IT), University of Michigan, Lookingglass Theatre, Columbia College, Anderson University, University of Dallas, and Progetto Perugia (IT). She has received 3 CAAP grants and a DCASE grant from the city of Chicago. Williamson received her BA with honors from Knox College. She studied at the New York Studio School for two years, where she was awarded a full, second-year, Arthur B Carles Scholarship. Additional study at Yale’s Norfolk Summer Program and Queens College Landscape Painting Program.
Megan Williamson's art practice has been one of careful choices. Her paintings and drawings belong to an enduring tradition of painterly inquiry. Limning the terrain between abstraction and observation, she works from the landscape or parts of extensive still lifes, choosing emergent forms for their dynamic connection to the flat space of the canvas. Many of her complex paintings resemble the interconnected and loaded surfaces of de Kooning's Excavation and Attic. Paced with unfamiliar amalgams of language, they can be seen as the equivalent of free association. Through rigor of drawing and clarity of color, Williamson creates a precise depth of field.
- Cathy Lebowitz, Art in America