Guy Williams Biography

Guy Williams




Guy Williams, painter, printmaker, poet, and teacher, was born in San Diego, California on 21 June 1932. There seems to be no published records of his formative years. It has been published that he attended the Coronado School of Art briefly on a scholarship but was primarily self-taught as an artist. The entry on Williams in the 1975 edition of Who Was Who in American Art notes that he studied at Chouinard Art Institute.

Williams taught at the School of Arts and Crafts at the Art Center in La Jolla in the early 1960s. He left San Diego in 1964 and taught at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles between 1965 and 1967. In 1967 he began teaching at Pomona College in Claremont and Claremont Graduate University. He eventually moved to Santa Barbara where he continued to teach at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Williams published two artist books, The Painters Notebook in 1961 and Poems for Painters in 1963, both printed by Irwin Hollander. He also collaborated with Hollander in the spring of 1961 to publish and print Black Folio. Seven artists including Don Dudley, Fred Holle, Sheldon Kirby, William Lumpkins, Malcolm McClain, Richard Allen Morris, and Guy Williams contributed an original print.

The exhibition Guy Williams: Selected Works 1976-1982 was mounted at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in January 1982 and was accompanied with an illustrated catalogue. In 1976, the exhibition Guy Williams: A Selection of Works 1960-1976 was mounted at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art. Solo exhibitions of his works were also featured at the Jan Baumn Gallery in Los Angeles, the Ivan Jankovsky Gallery in New York, the University of Southern California, Vassar College, Pomona College, California Institute of the Arts at Chouinard Art Institute, David Stuart Galleries in Los Angeles, and the La Jolla Museum of Art.

Williams was awarded the James Phelan award in 1961 and 1963, a Ford Foundation Grant in 1972, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in 1976, and the University of California Regents' Humanities Fellowship in 1981. His work is represented in numerous important private collections as well as the La Jolla Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the University of New Mexico and the University of Southern California.

Guy Williams died in Santa Barbara on 24 February 2004.