William Rand b. 1953
Painting since early childhood, William Rand grows up in Hallowell and South Freeport Maine.
Descended from pre-revolutionary settlers in New England, the young artist spends time at Fort Western in Augusta and in Wiscasset at the OLD JAIL with cousin Mildred Burrage, the painter.
Descended from Belfast Maine shipbuilders, the artist also counts in his family tree painter Roswell Morse Shurtleff who taught Winslow Homer fly fishing after they both walked out of the American Civil War alive.
In the 70’s Rand studies medical anatomy and drawing at the Portland School of Art.
This study of the human figure endows the artist with advanced skills in figuration, his chosen theme.
Under the tutelage of Fluxus artist AM FINE, Rand abandons the use of color by 1980, and is exposed to the avant garde.
Rand is encouraged by Ray Johnson to make art.
Painting in Maine and New York in the 1980’s, Rand exhibits at the Portland Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Museum and Library, and the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
ARTFORUM critic Rene Ricard pens an essay about William Rand’s “post-punk classical” paintings for the 1989 Rand exhibition at 56 Bleecker Gallery LTD. N.Y. Ricard is famous for his work in the Warhol Factory and has written powerfully about painters Julian Schnabel and Jean Michel Basquiat.
Rene Ricard’s essay is reprinted for Rand’s 1993 exhibition at The Colby College Museum of Art.
The artist paints in East and West Berlin in 1989/1990, exhibiting in East Berlin 1990 after the wall comes down, spending time with Joshka Fischer in the East Berlin, head of the German Green Party who becomes Chancellor of Germany.
Working with Beat Generation and Warhol Factory regular Taylor Mead, Rand illustrates a large silkscreen portfolio of Mead’s Beat poems (Collection New York Public Library Print Dept., Farnsworth Museum and Library) in 1990.
In 1997 Rand opens a studio in Madrid. Rand paints a large Ava Gardner mural for his 2003 Madrid solo exhibition, with catalog essay by New York art critic Richard Milazzo. The American actress becomes a symbol for excess and beauty, a dark metaphor.
Opening a studio on the Spanish Mediterranean in 2005, Rand paints Russian and Hispanic showgirls in a local bordello, and executes a series of geometric BAHNHOF paintings recalling the Berlin of the COLD WAR using one point perspective, and painting a series simply titled 1945 about WW2, on file at the US State Dept., the Berlin Holocaust Museum and the German Embassy in Washington.
The artist spends time in North Africa, Tangiers and Marrakech, also working in the Near Orient, Istanbul.
Moving back to Maine in 2015, the artist works entirely in collage.
The Modular Ava Gardner 2000-2003 Madrid
47 square meters-(141 sq. feet.) (mixed media on 47 canvasses)
Copyright William Rand-ARS NY
Collection of the artist. Maine.Exhibited Galeria Najera, Madrid 2003-Catalog essay by Richard Milazzo
Exhibited La Maison Ibiza 2012Painted in Rand studios, Madrid. A modular project painted in parts, the order and design of the installation may be shuffled and hung in any unique format, echoing the freewheeling philosophy of the American actress Ava Gardner, famous for her passionate years in Spain.
© William Rand/ARS NY