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William Hawkins - © christian berst — art brut
Date 1895 — 1990
Country United States

William Hawkins has grown up in a farm in Kentucky, but he spent the most part of his life in Ohio, after running away a wedding supposed to legitimize a disapproved pregnancy in 1916. William Hawkins seems to have lived several lives: horses trainer, truck driver, procurer and junkman, but especially painter. Indeed in the 1930s he begins to represent animals and urban landscapes on plates of Masonite and plywood and cheap materials, like remains from industrial paint, which he spreads with a simple brush. He frequently uses sawdust or glitter, which he mixes to the paint to give it some texture and also proceeds to collages of images and papers from magazines or books. If his choices go to animals and buildings, he is also interested by religious topics and popular imaging inspired by media. His works are as surprising as unexpected, filled with symbolism, supported by a palette of lively colors, and writings repeating his name in a heady way, the place and date of his birth « WILLIAM.L.HAWKINS.BORN.KY.JULY.27.1895 » like an ID card or a passport for somewhere else.

 In 1981, the artist Lee Garrett, Hawkins’ neighbor discovers his work and decides to encourage its distribution. He presents him to the New York gallery-owner, Roger Ricco, who will represent Hawkins until he dies in 1990.Seven years later, the Museum of American Folk Art organises a retrospective of his work which is part of big American museum collections today, like in the High Museum or the American Folk Art Museum. William Hawkins is considered as one of the biggest self-taught African-American artists of his generation.

Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
untitled (eagle on cactus) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (eagle on cactus), 1987
8.66 x 11.81 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1985
13.78 x 11.02 in
untitled (lion attacking a horse) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (lion attacking a horse), 1987
16.93 x 13.78 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1980
48.03 x 36.22 in
The Museum of everything
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. From June 17, 2017 to April 2, 2018.
Great and mighty things
outsider art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art. From March 3 to June 9, 2013.
Accidental Genius
art from the Anthony Petullo Collection, Milwaukee, USA. From February 10 to May 6, 2012.
The Museum Of Everything
by Tim Brett, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turino. From April 1 to August 29, 2010.
William Hawkins born july 27, 1985
American Folk Art Museum, New York. From October 6 to November 2, 1997.
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19th and 20th-Century Afro-American Artists
Philadelphia Museum of Art. From May 20 to August 16, 1992.
Wlliam Hawkins
Ginza Art Space, Shiseido Corporation, Tokyo. From April 24 to May 24, 1991.
William Hawkins
Columbus Museum of art, USA. From June 13 to July 28, 1990.
Smithsonian Museum Of American Art
United States
High Museum of Art
United States
Antoine Frérot collection
Treger Saint Silvestre collection
Antoine de Galbert collection
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American Folk Art Museum
United States
William Hawkins

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