William Cannings’ work often invokes a sense of wit by using hard steel to create “soft” subjects: soft-edge geometric forms, abstract conglomerates, and sometimes representational figures, that look like they were made of malleable plastic. Cannings spent time in his youth working in automotive shops where he familiarized himself with the tools and equipment needed to support his practice and satisfy his interests. Today, the artist has mastered an innovative process of working with flat steel by literally heating and inflating it. Each finished sculpture still looks weightless despite its medium, creating a dichotomy of hard and soft. The seductive forms and visual trickery in Cannings’ work makes it provocative, seductive, and demanding to be touched.
William Cannings is originally from Manchester, England and currently lives and works in Lubbock, TX with his wife, also a fine artist, and his two daughters. Concurrent to his active studio practice, he is also a Professor of Sculpture at Texas Tech University. In 2004, he helped to reinvigorate the Texas Sculpture Symposium, a brand of the Sculpture Network of Texas, where he continues today as an active member.
William Cannings came to the US in the early 1990’s and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonweath University. He went on to complete a Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. Cannings exhibits frequently across the United States including in New York, Miami, New Mexico and Texas, among others. He was one of four artists chosen for a solo exhibition at the 2009 Texas Biennal. His works are seen publically in the permanent collection of the new William P. Clements, Jr. Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX, and the new Hall Sculpture Walk in downtown Dallas. Likewise, he is featured in the canonical, Texas Artists’ Today book.
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