Williams’ paintings are concerned with perception.
The intrigue of the illusion in the works cannot be deciphered in reproduction. One must stand in front of the artworks themselves to understand the mastery of paintwork and chiaroscuro that trick the eye into seeing flat surfaces as low relief. When confronted with his painting, the initial assumption is of a textured surface – on closer inspection, the three dimensional qualities are revealed as intricacies of paintwork which belie the flat surface of the canvas.
In 2011, after a period of experimenting with mixed media (acrylic paint and digital combined) Williams produced a series of highly optical paintings that were first shown to the public at the Auckland Art Fair in 2013.The following year Ron Sang Publications launched the book ‘Mervyn Williams : from Modernism to the Digital Age’by Dr Edward Hanfling, This publication covered 50 years of William’s career – not only his paintings, but also his sculpture, printmaking and design.