Robin F. Williams: We’ve Been Expecting You

Columbus Museum of Art

Located in Lower Level Walter Wing
On view April 5–August 18, 2024

Admission Information

Robin F. Williams: We’ve Been Expecting You is included with the cost of general admission.

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Exhibition Description

The Columbus Museum of Art is pleased to organize and present the first solo institutional exhibition featuring the work of the Columbus-born, Brooklyn-based artist, Robin F. Williams (born 1984). The exhibition includes work from a seventeen-year timeframe, highlighting recurring themes in Williams’ work including the body, gender and identity expression, digital trends and artificial intelligence, folklore, and the supernatural. These paintings trace intriguing changes in Williams’ oeuvre while highlighting the dynamism within her technical process.

Williams’ early paintings reference art historical styles and genres with wry, dreamlike twists. Many of these works challenge gender expectations, for example, men in repose and women engaging in pleasurable activities without guilt. Film is another signature theme in Williams’ work. In one such passage, renderings of female actresses from iconic movies like Rosemary’s Baby and Pulp Fiction are captured in still-shot frames and re-named “Siri” after Apple Inc.’s digital assistant, thereby commenting on the feminization of AI technology. Throughout, figures are presented as fully conscious of the viewer, evidenced in both moments of cool detachment, as well as mocking confrontation.

Robin F. Williams: We’ve Been Expecting You is the artist’s first exhibition that includes works spanning from her early career to the present day. By positioning the painted figures as active agents “expecting” the viewer, the artist prompts the visitor to engage with the experience of being perceived by these intriguing and skillfully rendered paintings.

Robin F. Williams, Prom Night Reckoning (detail), 2023. Oil and acrylic on canvas. Green Family Art Foundation; courtesy Adam Green Art Advisory. Courtesy of the artist; Morán Morán, Mexico City; and P·P·O·W, New York. Photo by JSP Art Photography

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