William T. Williams (b. 1942) Untitled, 1969 Screenprint on paper Paper: 23 1/2 × 17 1/2 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Charles Cowles, New York 1981.2.3
William T. Williams imbues his abstract compositions of crisp, energetic lines, shapes, and colors with stylistic and emotional references—the geometries of his grandmother’s quilts, the structure and movement of the city. These untitled screenprints, featuring the artist’s “Diamond-in-the-Box” motif, are part of a series of compositional experiments in which he positioned a diamond in a rectangle intersected by curved and straight bands of color. The flat rectangular forms repeat, vigorously stacking on top of one another, and multiplying into space. When viewed in series, the lines and colors in each frame create a visual rhythm akin to that of a jazz composition.