William Woodward: The Seven Deadly Sins (Updated 8/2)
For the past two decades, William Woodward has delved into the rich history and aesthetic possibilities of the seven deadly sins as a subject matter for our own time. The master drawings and narrative paintings in this exhibition continue the artist’s fascination with painting figures and animals, which began more than 25 years ago while painting his landmark 880 square foot circus mural at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida. Woodward’s version of the sins owes a great deal to the films of Federico Fellini, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and the commedia dell’arte tradition. The artist tries to imagine, had these directors and actors been painters, how they might have depicted their subjects in whimsical and elusive ways rather than strident and explicit interpretations. In creating The Seven Deadly Sins, Woodward is not preaching about sin. Rather, he wanted to paint pictures that no one, including himself, had ever seen before.