Untitled, 2014

Basel 2015
Vilma Gold
William Daniels Untitled, 2014 Oil on board 47 x 53 cm 17 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches It is possible to read William Daniels’ paintings as an exercise in trompe l’oeil. However, focusing solely on this characteristic limits the discussion of his work to the idea of the simulacrum – an image without substance or qualities of the original. By instead turning attention towards the ritualistic and repetitious forms that occur throughout his recent baroque and kaleidoscopic paintings, Daniels’ work is revealed as more romantic and more complex. The painting’s surfaces are formed by complex interwoven marks of radiant colour that describe archetypal forms, which embody the fundamental characteristics of a ‘thing’. Objects speak to objects in these compositions, suggesting one foot in a mythic past but also one in our current digital age. The everyday materials used to make the maquettes he paints from are always animated to suggest something wider than the sum of their parts, transforming humble materials into powerful images that contain deeply imbedded cultural meaning. - Alex Pollard