Dale Williams was raised in a working-class Catholic family in suburban Baltimore in the 1960s. In 7th grade a nun at the parochial school he attended introduced the class to drawing and painting with oil pastels. When he won an honorable mention for a work called “My Grave” in a school-wide exhibition he decided to keep making pictures.

Williams’s paintings, drawings, and books usually depict figures, largely imaginary, and often contain traces of writing, legible and illegible. His art aims to create a contemporary mythos – an imaginal way of understanding and explaining the world. The figures, and the work itself, bear evidence of distress: empathy for the beaten and lowly is embodied in these creations of emotional immediacy.

Williams has exhibited in venues in the New York City area, such as the Drawing Center, Kentler International Drawing Space, and the BRIC Rotunda Gallery. His last one-person show, “Fear Not To Appear”, which highlighted early work from 1980–1997, was held at Gowanus Loft in April 2016. His work has been published in Literal Latte, BOMB, Ecotone, the Weirderary, A Bad Penny Review and other print and online journals.  He is a 2014 fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts from the New York Foundation for the Arts.  His work is currently represented by the Vanderbilt Republic creative agency/artist cooperative.


Whatever we decide dreams might ultimately mean, they at least astound us by their manifold generosity. Their narratives and imagery compel our attention, bother us into ascribing meaning to them - whether we choose to follow their call or not.

I have chosen to follow the call of figural and narrative images in my work, and as with dreams, I think of them in relation to the world. They are my way of representing this world: a presidential election that exposes heretofore unwitnessed intolerance, violence, bigotry; a culture where fleeting reactions are tweeted/posted, drowning us in the shallow puddles of clamor; and occasionally the free clear light of happiness and the dread of its loss.

I don’t think art will solve the world, despite its wish. I stay tuned in for a deeper image, not knowing what it will look like. If I am lucky, I accept it, and then do what I can to facilitate its potential alchemy.


b. 1955, Baltimore, MD
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

  • 1989Hunter College, NYC, MFA
  • 1977The Cooper Union, BFA
  • 1975California Institute of the Arts
  • 2016Fear Not To Appear - works 1980-1997, Gowanus Loft, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2015Cage Dies Bird Flies - Illuminations by the Slice, Threes Brewing
  • 2015"Cage Dies Bird Flies - 81 paintings", Gowanus Loft, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2012Wrong Moves - Figurations and Word Pictures, Berger Gallery, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY
  • 2007Imaging the Political Soul - paintings and books since 9/11, Brownson Gallery, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY
  • 1996Sanctuary 2000, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2016Political is Personal is Political, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2016Fake-A Surrealestate Gallery, 304 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2016Eutopia, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NY
  • 2015Art from the Heart, Gowanus Loft, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2015(Un)Scene Art Show, Pop-up gallery, New York, NY
  • 2014Art from the Heart, Gowanus Loft, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2014"Over the Edge - Paperworks Unbound", WAH Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2014{Re}HAPPENING Festival, Black Mountain College
  • 2014Circumstances, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
  • 20139th annual small works show, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2013Working It Out, The Painting Center, New York, NY
  • 2012Living with Others, Giles Gallery, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY
  • 201130: A Brooklyn Salon, BRIC Rotonda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
  • 20084th annual small works show, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
  • 2006Drawing Conclusions, projectBLUE Gallery, Easton, PA
  • 2002Drawings for Peace, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
  • 1997Winter Invitational Show, The Painting Center, New York, NY
  • 1997Figures Lost and Found, NYPL Tompkins Square Branch, New York, NY
  • 1995Unwanted Figures of the Imagination (co-curator), Police Building Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1994Small Works, Gallery Annext, New York, NY
  • 1994The Painter's Visit, CB's 313 Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1994Hair - the long and short of it, Smithtown Township Arts Council, Smithtown, NY
  • 1990Figurative Expressionism, Gallery David, New York, NY
  • 1989Selections 46, The Drawing Center, New York, NY
  • 2014Fellowship in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts, New York Foundation of the Arts
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