Rachel Eulena Williams

Rachel Eulena Williams (b. 1991, Miami, FL) creates highly colorful and textural works out of paint, rope, canvas, paper, and other objects that she exactingly jumbles together with glue, staples, ties, screws, and hooks.

Working in the liminal space between painting and sculpture, legibility and abstraction, and color and line, Williams creates networks of interrelation and connection.

Williams’s playful approach is liberated from traditional constraints such as the rectangular frame of the stretcher bar or the unimpeachable canvas surface. Her works demonstrate painted form pushed to its limits. In her words, “play is vital…When you’re playing, it gives you this freedom.” Williams works in the lineage of artists such as Al Loving, Howardena Pindell, Suzanne Jackson, and Elizabeth Murray, who, in the 1970s and 1980s, took painting apart in order to reassemble it, pushing at the very boundaries of the medium.

Her practice is deeply rooted in the act of drawing, with sketches on paper or digital drawings serving as the starting points for her wall-bound constructions. The artist translates line into three dimensions via snaking segments of rope that act as bounding structures. After putting the ropes into place, Williams applies vibrant shades of color that act as a bridge between the painted and sculptural components of the work. Color is an integral part of her constructions and she frequently turns to a vibrant, wide-ranging palette that has largely been considered vulgar in Western art history. After the ropes are in place, Williams adds cut-out canvas scraps in various sizes, shapes, and colors, as well as other materials that are added through a process of layering what she calls “tactile information.” Sometimes these pieces are trimmed away, saved, and added to other works in progress. All of the physical elementswork with the forces of gravity to give shape to the three-dimensional compositions. Recently, she has used armatures derived from hammocks—defying rope’s conventionaluses and contexts. Deeply informed by the material histories of the media that she employs, Williams plumbs the new meanings that can be created, transforming the ways we see paint, canvas, and frame.

Rachel Eulena Williams (b. 1991) was born in Miami, FL and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at Dundee Arts Center, United Kingdom; Xavier Hufkens, Brussels; The Modern Institute, Glasgow; Canada, New York; Cooper Cole, Toronto; and Ceysson & Bénétière, Sainte Etienne, among others. Her work is held in the collections of the Pérez Art Museum, Miami and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. She received her BFA from Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York in 2013.

Artist: Studio

"What I’m doing with the work is taking different moments and finding a point where they all meet, finding order within disorder."


Rachel Eulena Williams,

Deflecting Direction,


Acrylic, ink, polyester, canvas, wood, hook and rope on fiberboard, vinyl and wood panel,

60 × 60 in (152.4 × 152.4 cm)

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Soul on Ice,


Acrylic, ink, polyester, canvas, hooks, wire and rope on fiberboard, vinyl and wood panel

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Diving into the Sky,


Acrylic, ink, polyester, canvas, hook, wire and rope on fiberboard, vinyl and wood panel,

60 × 48 in (152.4 × 121.92 cm)


Rachel Eulena Williams,

Reflected Moon Peace,


Acrylic, ink, polyester, canvas, hooks and rope on vinyl and wood panel,

50 × 50 in (127 × 127 cm)


Rachel Eulena Williams,

Star Root Crossing,


Acrylic, ink, canvas and rope on fiberboard, vinyl and wood panel,

33 × 32 in (83.82 × 81.28 cm)


Rachel Eulena Williams,

Coded Healing Roads,


Acrylic, dye, canvas, thread and rope on canvas,

60 × 50 in (152.4 × 127 cm)


Rachel Eulena Williams,

Highway of Obsession, Joy, and Torment,


Acrylic and InkJet on canvas, cotton, rope; aluminum stretcher,

90 × 60 in (228.6 × 152.4 cm)

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Flashing Pains, Mako's Flowers,


Acrylic, silkscreen and InkJet on canvas, cotton, silk, nylon, rope, wood and stretcher; artist's frame,

56 × 100 in (142.24 × 254 cm)

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Two Thousand Blue,


Acrylic paint on canvas, polyester, cotton rope, and wood,

41 ¾ × 42 ¼ in (106.05 × 107.32 cm)

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Red, Invisible, Blues,


60 × 80 in (152.4 × 203.2 cm)

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Red Grey Clay,


72 × 62 × 3 in (182.88 × 157.48 × 7.62 cm)

Silkscreen on card, dye and acrylic paint on hammock, canvas and cotton rope

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Orange Blood,


60 × 98 × 3 in (152.40 × 248.92 × 7.62 cm)

Acrylic paint and dye on canvas, panel, and cotton rope

Rachel Eulena Williams,

The Orange Beneath the Moon,


54 × 30 × 3 in (137.16 × 76.20 × 7.62 cm)

Dye and acrylic paint on panel, canvas and cotton rope

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Pedestal Reeducation,


Acrylic, dye and rope on canvas and wood panel,

64 × 130 × 3 in (162.56 × 330.2 × 7.62 cm)


Rachel Eulena Williams,

Earth Fresco,


54 × 49 × 3 in (137.16 × 124.46 × 7.62 cm)

Silkscreen, dye and acrylic paint on panel, canvas, and cotton rope

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Night sky and rivers,


48 × 48 in (121.92 × 121.92 cm)

Acrylic, dye, rope and canvas on wood panel

Rachel Eulena Williams,

Tracing Memory,


48 × 29 × 3 in (121.92 × 73.66 × 7.62 cm)

Acrylic paint on panel, canvas and cotton rope

Installation Views

Installation view of Rachel Eulena Williams Hair & Body, 2023, Dundee Arts Center, Dundee, UK


Rachel Eulena Williams, Dream Speak, Apr 24 – Jun 1, 2024
Rachel Eulena Williams, Tracing Memory, Dec 10 – Jan 23, 2021


Tara Anne Dalbow, “Betye Saar’s Radical Assemblages Have Inspired a New Generation of Black Women Artists”, Artsy, May 14

Annie Lyall Slaughter, “Imbued with Symbolism, Rachel Eulena Williams’s Playful Assemblages at Canada Are Full of Delight.” Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, May 10

Annikka Olsen, “5 Solo Gallery Shows to See in New York in May”, Artnet News, May 2

Francesca Aton, “Seven Tribeca Shows to Catch This Week”, ARTnews, May 1

Osman Can Yerebakan, “Orchestrating Ways of Concord through All Forms of Making”, Plus Magazine, Apr. 2024

Catherine Spencer, “Rachel Eulena Williams” Artforum, August 26, 2023

Anne Soward "The Modern Institute explores otherworldly narratives at Frieze London 2023." Wallpaper October 12, 2023

Janelle Zara "Rachel Eulena Williams: from painting to sculpture and back again." Art Basel August 18, 2023

Wendy Vogel "Double Take: “52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone” at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum." Art in America September 13, 2022

Izzy Einstein "Speaking in Tongues." office July 20, 2022

Maia Siegel "Lingua Franca." The Brooklyn Rail July 15, 2022

Louis Block "How to Get Free of the Rectangle." The Brooklyn Rail May 1, 2022

Roberta Smith "The Best Art Shows of 2021 Were in Galleries." The New York Times December 7, 2021

Folasade Ologundudu "Pace Gave Its New Digital Director Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle The Keys to Its Brick and Mortar Gallery. The Results are Refreshing." Artnet News September 9, 2021

"Pace Announces ‘Convergent Evolutions: The Conscious of Body Work’, Curated by Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle." Martin Cid Magazine August 22, 2021

Louis Block "Rachel Eulena Williams with Louis Block." The Brooklyn Rail April 2021

Jason Stopa "Rachel Eulena Williams’s Threads of Abstraction." Hyperallergic January 15, 2021

"Collectors’ Picks | Swizz Beatz." Art Basel September 25, 2020 (video)

"Rachel Eulena Williams." The Creative Independent August 19, 2020

Deborah Dundas "Rachel Eulena Williams’ art suggests that Earth — like us — is in a tender state." The Toronto Star August 1, 2020

"Rachel Eulena Williams and Scott Treleaven at COOPER COLE." Art Viewer July 23, 2020

Emily Burns "Interview with Rachel Eulena Williams." Maake Magazine 2019

Anya Tchoupakov "Peek in on a Performance Through the Window of a Closed Gallery." Vice July 26, 2017

"Episode 23: Rachel Eulena Williams." Deep Color Podcast July 19, 2017

"Rachel Eulena Williams." Pencil in the Studio August 9, 2016


Rachel Eulena Williams

b. 1991, Miami, FL

Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

  • Education

    • 2013

      BFA, The Cooper Union, New York, NY

  • Selected Solo Exhibitions

    • 2024

      Dream Speak, CANADA, New York, NY

    • 2023

      Hair and Body, Dundee Arts Center, Dundee, United Kingdom

    • 2022

      Joy & Rain, Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium

    • 2021

      Silk Cotton Snow, The Modern Institute, Glasgow, United Kingdom

    • 2020

      Tracing Memory, CANADA, New York, NY

    • 2018

      Zero Gravity, Ceysson & Bénétière, Saint Etienne, France

      Coastal, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto, Canada