William T. Williams (b. 1942) Untitled, 1969 Screenprint on paper 23 1/2 × 17 1/2 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Charles Cowles, New York 1981.2.4
William T. Williams’s abstractions unite explorations of shape, movement, and color with reflections on place, music, and the artist’s early memories. This work uses a diamond motif that runs throughout Williams’s paintings and prints. Instead of restricting his work, this repetition is generative and serves as a place to improvise—alluding to the quilting traditions of his childhood and jazz. Here, the colorful, flat planes of the diamond are layered upon one other and interrupted by arcs and stripes of color to create a dynamic space that evokes the rhythms of jazz, the feel of walking through the city and patchwork textile patterns.