The Comic Art of Charles Williams (1955-1989)
Presented by Philip March Jones
Charles Williams is perhaps the first African-American auteur in the comics genre. His work first emerged in the 1950s, mostly private, yet developed throughout the 1960s and '70s, often in syndicated black newspapers, where his serial figures and superheroes became increasingly politicized. Williams also made paintings, drawings, and sculptures, as well, many that included symbols and icons from mainstream comic book superheroes such as "Batman" and "Superman." He died in the early 1990s of HIV/AIDS. Philip March Jones chronicles the entire output of Williams in a one-hour presentation that reinserts this lost artist into the larger history of Afrofuturism and comics history.
Phillip March Jones is an artist, writer, and curator based in New York City. In 2009 he founded Institute 193, a nonprofit contemporary art space and publisher in Lexington, Kentucky. Jones later served as the inaugural director of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation in Atlanta, and as director of the Galerie Christian Berst (New York/Paris), as well as the Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York. More recently he co-curated the Atlanta Biennial, an exhibition showcasing emerging, established, and forgotten artistic practices from across the Southern US region, for the Atlanta Contemporary. Jones serves as Institute 193’s Curator-at-Large and oversees Institute 193 (1B), a project space in New York’s East Village that organizes collaborative exhibitions with cultural institutions from the Southern United States. Additionally, Jones’ photographs and writings have been published by the Jargon Society, Vanderbilt University Press, Dust-to-Digital, and Poem 88.