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William Fares


William  Fares






‘el ojo de dios’ (the eye of god) and ‘getting to nothing,’ the self-referential works of William Fares


“If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.” William Blake

by Joonas Maailmanpalo


Trying to get to something that does not exist may seen like a waste of time, but for William Fares’ its been a life time pursuit. This is the New York artist’s first solo exhibition in Mexico.

The exhibition at The Skot Foreman’s Fine Art Gallery in the Fabrica la Aurora exemplifies the idea that the less there is to look at, the more one should look.

The works in this exhibition are those of a literalist, a ‘maker’, they are not pictures or illustrations of something else; they are literally the things themselves. What constitutes this artists understanding of image development is confined within the materials and the act of problem solving and although the images are made up from geometric configurations; they are not about them.

As with any art thru-out history, the relationship of being and not being is expressed differently from one generation to the next. Individual experiences and sensibility of ‘making and unmaking ’are contained within each work the artists produce. But what I find interesting about Fares’ work is how he deals with the ideas of figure/ ground, being and non being, in very real and physical terms without deferring the relationship off to the wall or some other surface

‘ojo de dios.’ The sole painting in the exhibition needs no company. The only image is a floating flat, gray circle with an oval hole within it that is centered on the golden vertical canvas. The center changes from a hole to a round ball as the viewer moves from one side to the other. The central gray image is almost the same value as the ground it is on and seems to disappear because it is being looked at. And depending where the viewer stands, the painting’s ground changes color, from gold to red or to yellow and the central image changes shape and color as well. Everything is in constant flux, including the viewer.

Obviously this painting is not meant to be viewed solely from the front. Instead it encourages multiple points of view and because of it “ojo de dios” feels like its multiple paintings, a triptych, if you will. There is a presence in its none-ness that is disturbing.. If this is the ‘eye of god’ it is elusive.

In order to get to ‘ojo de dios’ one must pass thru the main exhibition gallery

The multiple series of ‘works on paper’ contained within the front gallery are objects of manipulation. What I mean by that is both the figure and the ground are expanded and/or reduced in the process of opening and ‘drawing back’ to expose the paper’s interior. The ground takes on a new meaning and is valued on a different yet equal plane then the image that occupies it. The exposed interior’s physicality reduces and expands the relationship of being and not being.

What constitutes the integrity of an image (figure) as well as the space (ground) it occupies is drawn into question. ‘Reduction and expansion’ form the catalyst for the different variations of the artists understanding of ‘getting to nothing’.

The ‘paper works’ are set in brutally constructed steel frames that seem to function as vaults meant to contain their physicality.

There is no need to look beyond these works for their inspiration; they are not abstracted from anything else. They are self-referential and are themselves the point of their own origin.

For Fares making art is not about communication, or a search for constructs or absolutes; for him, art is about resistance to the common and accepted while trying to get to something that does not exist
























Curriculum Vitae

1942 Compton, California

1969 BFA, San Francisco Art Institute
1971 MFA San Francisco Art Institute


2017 Skot Foreman Gallery "presencia de ausencia" San Miguel de Allende, MX
2013 Galería Skot Foreman, "getting to nothing" San Miguel de Allende, MX
2003 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
2002 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
1986 Ted Greenwald Gallery, New York, NY
1985 Ted Greenwald Gallery, New York, NY
1982 Van Wickle Gallery, Lafayette College, Allentown, PA
1980 Palluel Gallery, Paris, France
1979 Green Street Gallery, New York, NY
1978 Stevenson Palluel Gallery, Paris, France
1977 Zolla Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL
1976 Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
1975 John Doyle Gallery, Chicago, IL
1975 Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
1974 John Doyle Gallery, Paris, France

2014 Four Artists, Four Geometries, Belles Artes, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2006 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
2005 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
2004 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
2003 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
2002 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
2000 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
1997 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
1994 Andre Zarre Gallery, New York, NY
1984 Jersey City Museum
1979 Jefferson County Historical Society, Watertown, NY
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
Texas Gallery, Houston, Texas
Simsar Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
1980 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, USA & Europe
1978 Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, USA & Europe
Artist Space, New York, NY
Stamford Museum, Stamford, CT
Mill Gallery, Gullfrod, CT
1977 University Galleries Traveling Exhibition
Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
Nation Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Minnesota Museum, Saint Paul MN
Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
1976 Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Gray Gallery, New York University, New York, NY
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Oakland Museum, Oakland, CA
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston MA
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
1975 Weatherspoon Gallery, Greensboro, NC
Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Whitney Museum, New York, NY
Gallerie Monet, Brussels, Belgium
Vassar College Art Museum, Poughkeepsie, NY
Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Contemporary Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Texas Gallery, Houston, TX
Michael Wyman Gallery, Chicago, IL
1974 Texas Gallery, Houston TX
1972 John Bergruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA

National Endowment for the Arts
Detweller Endowment

National Art Museum of Paris, Paris, FR
Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
Whitney Museum, New York, NY
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Richmond, VA
Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, NY
Muhlenberg Center for the Arts, Allentown, PA
Yale Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Gray Gallery, NYU, New York, NY

Pain Weber, New York, New York, NY
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, NY
JP Morgan Chase, New York, NY
Paine Weber, New York, NY
AT&T, New York NY
Continental Grain Corp, New York, NY
McKinsey & Company, Cleveland, OH
Amerada Hess Corp. New York, NY
Prudential Insurance Agency. Newark, NJ

Edward Albee
Richard Brown Baker
Norman Dubrow
Sidney Lewis
Lucio Pozzi
Dorothy and Herb Vogel
Henry and Nancy Ittleson
Joel Fisher
Neil and Joan Fabricant
Gary and Marilee Bandy

James Kalm, N.Y. ARTS 2003
James Kalm, N.Y. ARTS 2000
Grace Glueck, New York Times, 1986
Ed Leites, Art in America, 1985
Kenneth Wahl, ‘On Abstract Literalist Works,’ Arts Magazine, 1977
Barbara Cavaliere, Arts Magazine, 1976
David Bourdon, The Village Voice, 1975
Richard Lorber, Arts Magazine, 1975
Lawrence Alloway, The Nation, 1975
Jean-Hubert Martin, ‘William Fares: La Peinture S’ Oeuvre,’ Art Press 1975
Joseph Dreiss, Arts Magazine, May, 1974
Barbara Rose, ‘More Art Than Money’, Vogue Magazine 1974
Charolotte Moser, ‘Artists Emphasize Form,’ Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX 1974
Jerry Bowles ‘Artist Leave Big Sur for the Big Apple’, S, I. Advance, NY
Thomas Albright, ‘ Unexpected Art Surprises’ San Francisco Chronicle, SF, CA 1972




'Getting to Nothing'
The works of William Fares
The less there is, the more to see.

Start with a circle.
A circle is a continuum.
A circle is life.
Purity. Simplicity.
The basis of William Fares’ vision.
The circle is the thing.
The thing itself is a work of art.
Art is found in figure/ground.
The integrity of the image (figure) in the space it occupies (ground).
Fares does not impose or adorn.
He reduces and expands.
He delves inside.
True textures exposed.
Essence brought to the light.
How does it open?
Does it shine?
What’s under here?
What bleeds through?
Simple questions, a new sort of seeing.
Look inside.
Nothing here.
You’ve gotten there.

William Fares (American, 1942-) left Compton CA for New York City in the ‘70s. He made his first circle in college.. Fares: “For me, making art is not about communication or a search for absolutes; art is about resistance to accepted forms. Resistance is necessary for a society to change and remain free. Where else to practice this freedom but in Mexico?”

Chet Koslowski May, 2013



Associated Exhibitions

Kind of Blue: A Summer Group Exhibition
June 6 - August 31, 2014
Getting to Nothing: The Self-Referential Drawings of William Fares
August 1 - September 1, 2013


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