press release

AMOA-Arthouse is thrilled to name Jeff Williams as the 2012 recipient of the Texas Prize, an ongoing program highlighting talented, under-recognized professional artists working in the Lone Star State. An internationally respected jury selected Austin-based Williams from among three finalists — Williams, Jamal Cyrus, and Will Henry — vying for the revered prize in an exhibition of new work at the museum's Jones Center location. The winner was announced at a private event on the evening of May 18, 2012. The 30,000 USD prize is the nation's largest regional visual arts award specifically honoring emerging artists.

With his selection, Williams joins the esteemed ranks of the two previous Texas Prize winners: Eileen Maxson (2005) and Katrina Moorhead (2007), each of whom has since developed a noteworthy presence on the international art stage.

"The members of the jury would like to congratulate all of the finalists," the jurors explained in a joint statement, "each of whom produced an impressive and surprising body of new work for the Texas Prize exhibition. Although the decision was not unanimous, the majority of the jury felt that Jeff Williams was the most deserving of this year's prize. Williams' work deployed a fascinating range of materials and chemicals to activate subtle transformations in the space of the gallery. His installation was remarkable for the way in which it addressed the complex geographical and architectural history of the exhibition site and used an inventive sculptural approach to mark intersecting and distinct measures of time."

In site-specific installations heavily reliant upon construction techniques, Williams reveals the history latent within a particular place and structure. Of interest to Williams is the narrative told by a building's architecture, and his techniques often add to or subtract from the very fiber of a site in order to reveal the story at its core.

Jamal Cyrus, Will Henry, and Jeff Williams
Texas Prize 2012