William Grace was born in Kilkenny City in 1964. He received a Diploma in Fine Art from Waterford Regional Technical College in 1997. In the early 1990s William was working as a graphic designer before he decided to take up painting professionally. His first solo exhibition was during Kilkenny Arts Week in 1991.
William treats the rural and domestic landscape with a sensitivity to light through a vibrant, rich and colourful pallette. They exude a calm that lies beneath the busy surface. In his paintings , through his quiet observations he captures the beauty of unconnected moments ; an empty forest path and the timeless flow of a river . All of these images are woven into the fabric of the artist's life.
William's work is a contemporary view of familiar surroundings, his fine art paintings are executed with a skill that reflects in part his experience in graphic design. Influenced by his artistic neighbour, the late great Tony O'Malley, he scores the surface to define the roadmap for the paint. For him it is the skillful application of paint, layer on layer, that excites him. The scoring of the surface and application of paint thereon is part of what makes his work so active, wrestling with both paint and surface he creates work that both challenges and fascinates the viewer.
These paintings work on several different levels. An apparently realistic depiction reveals on closer inspection a highly complex composition, add to this the execution of the painting and you'll find that William is a master of his craft. William Grace creates abstracted compositions that, when viewed from a distance, harmonise into a cohesive unit, instantly recognisable.
Grace is held in high regard since his first solo exhibition at Kilkenny Arts Week in 1991. His work is highly collected internationally and exhibited throughout Ireland including the RUA Annual Exhibitions in Belfast.
His works are included in the collections of Great Southern Hotels, G-Tech Lotto, South Africa, Dail Eireann and as well as in many private collections in the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, USA and South Africa.