The Light from Within

Todd Williamson has brought illumination into his spectrum of painting.  His current exhibition, “Unpolarized Light” which is on view through May 25, 2013 at the George Billis Gallery LA, says it best when asked about this new dimension, Light emitted by the sun, a lamp or by a candle flame is unpolarized light. Such light waves are created by electric charges that vibrate in many directions, thus creating a wave that vibrates in many directions. The unpolarized light has a wave that has half its vibrations in the horizontal plane and half in the vertical plane.”

"No Way To Know", oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches, by Todd Williamson.

“No Way To Know”, oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches, by Todd Williamson.

     Lighting and light is everything in a room as well as in a movie, including and especially on a performing arts stage. On the other hand, in a painting it takes an artistic masterful mind to capture it on canvas, and in this case Williamson does it completely because what is and what was captured by Todd are the reflections of the light; those that draw a viewer’s attention to the luminosity rather than any specific object or form. And in many ways from my point of view, I find the Williamson’s artworks in the league of the Russian Avant Garde which brought us Rayonism; thusly, they gave the world a new way to see everyday life.    

     In addition, I see artist Williamson’s vision aligned to that of French-American painter, sculptor and writer Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending the Staircase.” ( In that work, the famed artist and ceramist Beatrice Wood was the model as well as another of Duchamp’s lovers.

     While at the Los Angeles George Billis Gallery, art lovers can also experience the chaos and the uncertainty that exists in the art world in Williamson’s works. His use of his textured and parallel lines shows his unrelenting attempt to control this chaos. Williamson says, “Chaos surrounds us in everyday life. Each time we turn on the news we are inundated with more and more unsettling actions and happenings. My lines help me to lay all that I see out in a readable manner, like the way an ancient fresco is read by a scholar. Each movement, color, gesture, tone, and vibrancy in the work is deeply symbolic and can be read by each person that stands in front of the work and looks into the depths that exist there.”

     Williamson’s process is as reductive as it is additive simply because nearly as much paint is removed from the canvas as is applied.  Of course, the paint is removed methodically and carefully to bring out the greatest texture and movement and then reapplied to achieve the final vision. For myself, I could see the passion as well as touch of anger of the deep movements of color, including a tranquility of ‘physical’ nature of the lines as they move up the canvas.

     In my final summary of artist Todd Williamson’s art, I use a line from Marco di Mauro, who said in his essay on the Work, “The visible perception of emotions on canvas.” Viewers have the opportunity to see what this artist sees in the world around him.

By Tony Clark

Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres


"Not Enough to Know", oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, by Todd Williamson.

“Not Enough to Know”, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, by Todd Williamson.


Editor’s note: You can discover more about this artist at or go to this link and download the digital print at the bottom of this Tony Clark column

Published by on May 2013. Filed under Archives, At the Galleries, California, Palette News Arts Network/PNAN. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Comments for “The Light from Within”

  1. Angelique de Maison

    Beautifully written!

  2. Kaitlyn

    I have been to a few of Todd Williamson’s art galleries and I am always amazed by the beauty of his work. “Unpolarized Light” was no different. His technique is stunning and the colors for these particular works were incredible.

  3. I have been following Todd Williamson’s for almost a year now and his works continue mesmerize me! His lines are like puzzle pieces defining light within one’s soul through the process of not only roughness, but also smoothness; intertwining gradation pertaining to life’s obstacles.

    I have a piece of his in my art collection and as I pass by it everyday; I am not only reminded by his witty personality, but also I feel a certain enlightenment that deepness from with in which Todd is able to capture the key eminence and necessary light elements of constructed light.

  4. Efrain T. Guerra

    His work is intense & electrifying & always moves me. It’s very rare I find an artist whose work I can stare at for hours and never get bored. Todd is a brilliant artist~

  5. James Wecker

    Todd Williamson’s current exhibit, “Unpolarized Light” is a testament to his uncanny ability to “capture within” which defines us and then disburse it in a meticulous, yet reasoned fashion.

    The depth of meaning, demonstrated upon each canvas, illuminates which is hidden from ordinary light, yet known to exist…One’s humanity and soul, One’s internal struggles and triumphs.

    Simply stated, this exhibition of works is as rich and commanding, as it is tender and thoughtful. It speaks as a symphony to the soul, opening oneself to the light

  6. Kimberly Nelson-Olszewski

    Todd Williamson is a brilliant artist and as a collector, I am so pleased to see his new work. The colors and light always move me. I am thrilled I was able to purchase my very favorite piece from new show. I will enjoy it forever.

  7. This is indeed a very impressive show. I wish I could use Todd’s lines to control the chaos in my life right now. :-)

  8. This is amazing. The energie in this work is absolutely strong and great!

  9. victoria chapman

    A terrific article and an amazing exhibition. Todd Williamson continues to impress and push the boundries of abstract painting; defintely an artist to watch and acquire for any cutting edge contemporary art collection on either side of the globe.

  10. Rick Ryan

    Todd is quite obviously a gifted artist. The energy that his work gives off is both energizing and inspirational. I only wish they would have one of his shows here in Nashville.

  11. Linda Bean

    Love how Todd captures the soul of light.

  12. Wade Marshall

    Awesome work as usual Todd. Proud of you!

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