MAY 3 – JUNE 15, 2019

For the first time in a decade, William A. Noguera is releasing his artwork to the public and sharing insights into how and why he creates. Noguera drew widespread attention in the early 2000s for his black and white photo-realistic images using the technique of ink stippling. The stunning works depicted figures, shapes and angles, illustrating the boundaries and isolation Noguera experiences at San Quentin Prison. He retreated from the art world after he came to believe that the representatives he entrusted to safeguard and exhibit his artwork stole some of his works and sold others without his knowledge, keeping the proceeds. But he continued to create his art and to evolve, emerging with a redefined focus on conventional concepts of boundaries, restriction and resistance.

Noguera’s present abstract style is informed by meditation on his incarceration as he aims to redefine conventional concepts of space, shape and the various boundaries imposed upon us. The work itself is rooted in geometry, constructivism, color theory and color field painting. Fragmented into sections or compartmentalized, Noguera’s artwork brings to life the landscapes that surround him, illustrating a belief in the constant and inevitable pattern of creation and destruction. He writes:

“There was a time when I destroyed my own life. I am now focused and have turned my attention to destroying the cage that holds me. Each painting or sculpture incorporates bits of rock and cement from the walls that surround me, then mixed with the materials I use to create the work, which is a portrait of my landscape. Therefore, I am slowly destroying San Quentin and showing you the very process by which I do it. If this isn’t the true meaning of action painting, then I don’t know what is. I make paintings and sculpture because they fit the concept that I’m working under. That in its truest form, is the sight of conflict: where beauty sometimes plays Trojan horse to a more complex idea.”
– William A. Noguera

Noguera lives on Death Row at San Quentin Prison and his work is represented exclusively by Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, courtesy of the William A. Noguera Trust and Executive Director Melissa Ysais. For more on his work, writing and exhibition history, visit William A. Noguera’s artist page here.



Thursday, June 13, 2019

Redefining Borders and Boundaries – Discussion and Q&A with William A. Noguera | 6:30pm

Join us for a conversation with the artist about breaking down conventional notions of space and how we define boundaries and borders – themes that are woven throughout Noguera’s paintings. The artist will participate by phone from San Quentin Prison, where he lives and makes his artwork. Executive Director of the William A. Noguera Trust, Melissa Ysais, will be present to share insights into the collection of works she maintains on behalf of the artist. Noguera will share his own story, describe his journey as an artist in captivity and address the challenges of creating while incarcerated, and explain how he literally breaks down the walls that imprison him in the creation of his paintings. Submit questions for the artist in advance to Sonya@eldergalleryclt.com.

Program begins promptly at 6:30 pm Limited seating.