The N-Word: Paintings by Peter Williams
Edited by Ryan Standfest
Contributions by Lynn Crawford & Bill Harris
56 pages, full color
6 x 8 inches
Detroit publisher Rotland Press presents a monograph of paintings by artist Peter Williams in 2014 and 2015. The "N-Word" of the title refers to an African American superhero serving as Williams' avenging alter ego, who redirects the power of the racial epithet toward those engaged in systematic acts of oppression and hate. Shown originally at the New York gallery Novella in 2015, the series of paintings featuring “The N-Word” caustically confront the attacks, killings, and murder of African Americans by police across the United States. The book contains an introductory essay examining this series and placing it into both a historical and contemporary context, an in-depth conversation between Williams and playwright, poet, critic and novelist Bill Harris in which both discuss their upbringing and race in America, and an original short story by Lynn Crawford inspired by the “N-Word” paintings, which addresses issues of spectatorship and healing by way of action. The book is an extension of the mission of publisher Rotland Press, which supports satirical work that tackles pressing socio-political issues.
The N-Word: Paintings by Peter Williams was recognized by Art in America as “one of the most significant artworks produced in Detroit” in 2016.