Forrest Kirk at Parrasch Heijnen (Contemporary Art Daily)

On view concurrently in Parrasch Heijnen’s front gallery is a selection of woodblock prints by Walter H. Williams (b. 1920, d. 1998). These works are presented in direct historic conversation with Forrest Kirk: 9 Fists, highlighting Williams’ use of symbolism and representation of Black identities through chromatic abstractions and pictorial narratives.

Forrest Kirk (b. 1975) lives and works in Los Angeles. Kirk studied at California State University, Los Angeles, and spent a year studying classical painting techniques in an atelier in Paris, France. In 2019, Kirk was a resident at the Bed Stuy Artist Residency, Brooklyn, NY. His work resides in numerous private collections and foundations, as well as in the permanent collection of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

Walter H. Williams (b. 1920, Brooklyn, NY; d. 1998, Copenhagen, Denmark) was a printmaker and painter. Williams studied at Brooklyn Museum Art School. In the summer of 1953, he received a scholarship to study at the Skowhegan School of Painting in Sculpture in Maine. In 1955-56, Williams received a fellowship from the John Hay Whitney Foundation which allowed him to live and work in Mexico from 1959 – 1963. In 1960, he was the recipient of the National Institute of Arts and Letters Grant; and, in 1963, won the Silvermine Award. Williams travelled to Europe in 1964, spending time in Amsterdam and London before settling in Copenhagen. In 1965, he returned to the United States to attend an acquisition ceremony by the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, which purchased one of his works for the Executive Wing of the White House under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Also that year, Williams was asked to be artist-in-residence at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. Due to overwhelming oppressive racism in the US, Williams returned to Denmark with his second wife where he remained till his death. He has been the subject of many solo exhibitions and has been included in group exhibitions internationally, showing paintings, prints, drawings, and sculpture. His works are in the permanent collections of: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

Forrest Kirk: 9 Fists will be on view at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, 1326 S. Boyle Avenue, Los Angeles, from July 9 – August 7, 2020, by advance appointment only. The gallery has secure, private parking onsite. We will provide a doors-open, socially distanced experience to safely welcome you to view this exhibition. Gallery staff are also available to guide you through our exhibitions virtually via Zoom. For more information, please contact the gallery at +1 (323) 943-9373 or

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