Liz Williams – "Deshabille"

by Cindy Paul

Liz Williams lives in Portugal currently, though she was born in the Eastern Cape. Heavily influenced by icons of art such as Matisse, Van Gogh and Chagall, she nevertheless displays a firm grasp on her own unique perspective. Liz chooses to portray mostly still lifes and interiors in her work. When she includes a figure, it will almost always be small and beside the point, compared to the lavishly fitted shapes and forms surrounding them. This can be seen in "Pink Mermaid," where the title subject is relegated to an unimportant position in the background.

"Deshabille" is a departure from this rule, however. The star of the show here is a provocatively placed nude reclining on her back in nothing but high heeled shoes. All around her is evidence of a life lived in luxury, made even more enticing by the use of glitter the artist employs on the canvas collage. The frilly room is laden with fanciful flowers on a table, repeated in a big mirror on the back wall and the carpet on which the figure lies. They are boldly outlined and somewhat graphic in nature, reminiscent of Chagall’s ubiquitous flowers.

"3 Cats Watching TV" is like a puzzle where you must search for the subject, hidden among the forms. This interesting painting is deceptively childlike, featuring a deeply expressionistic portrayal of festive shapes in a room. There is one possible cat in the room, which could actually be nothing but a decorative ottoman. It’s a happy-go-lucky, somehow satisfying picture.