Jeff Williams’ work is concerned with the properties of materials and their relationship to each other and over time. The artist combines and alters architectural materials and industrial waste as well as geological formations and quotidian objects in ways that induce and accelerate processes of erosion and decay and illuminate the elementary and sensory specificity of the materials. The work often functions as a form of research, predicated upon engineering principles, scientific theories and bodies of knowledge, such as processes of chemical reactions or ideas in physics, and undermines ideas around permanence and certainty within the built environment.
Williams was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and raised in Plymouth, Michigan. He studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and received his BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design (1998) and his MFA from Syracuse University (2002). From 2006-2008 Williams was an artist-in-residence at the Core Program, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Williams was the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, from 2008-2009. In 2012, Williams was selected by an internationally respected jury to receive the Texas Prize for his exhibition at The Contemporary Austin. Recently, Williams has been awarded an artist-in-residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts.
Williams lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX, where he is an associate professor of sculpture at The University of Texas. Recent solo exhibition include the Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY; The Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX; Artpace, San Antonio, TX; and Recess New York, NY. Recent group exhibitions include Jack Hanley, New York, NY: Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, TX; Regina Rex, New York, NY; Canada, New York, NY; Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Blaffer Museum, Houston, TX.