William S. Burroughs/ William Seward Burroughs II

United States 1914

Calligraphy, Postmodernism

William S. Burroughs
William Seward Burroughs II
Male
United States
1914

William Seward Burroughs II was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century”. His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

William S. Burroughs was born 5 February 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri. Burroughs was an innovative writer and artist in many media. A Harvard graduate, Burroughs followed his fascinations through the underworlds and subcultures of international cities including Tangiers, Paris, New York, London, Chicago, New Orleans, Vienna, Dubrovnik, Budapest, Athens, and Mexico City. Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac were key figures in his life and early literary career. Teaching him to ‘see’ paintings, Brion Gysin was fundamental to Burroughs’ artistic development and shared with him such techniques as the ‘cut-up’, calligraphy, and painting with an engraved wallpaper roller. Other important collaborators include Keith Haring, Robert Rauschenberg, George Condo, Philip Taaffe, Antony Balch, Ian Sommerville, Robert Wilson, Tom Waits, and Kurt Cobain.

In 1981, Burroughs moved his home to Lawrence, Kansas, where he began to make shotgun art. He went on to develop a wide range of painting techniques. From 1982 until his late years, he prolifically created visual art. Burroughs’ work has since been featured in over fifty international galleries and museums including Royal Academy of the Arts, Centre Pompidou, Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.

On 2 August 1997, Burroughs passed away at home at the age of 83.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2012 All out of time and into spaceOctober Gallery, London, UKSolo
2012 The Name Is Burroughs – Expanded Media, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe (ZKM), Karlsruhe, GermanySolo
2012 Cut-ups Cut-ins Cut-outs. Die Kunst des William S. Burroughs, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2011William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Th!nkart Salon, Chicago, USAGroup
2011 Arp, Beckmann, Munch, Kirchner, Warho ... Klassiker in Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, GermanyGroup
2009The Sky Is Thin As Paper HereStellan Holm Gallery, New York, NY Solo
2008Burroughs Live, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK Solo
2008Bendover-Hangover: An Evening with Cinema Zero, White Flag Projects, St. Louis, MOGroup
2008Cut-Outs and Cut-Ups, Hans Christian Andersen and William Seward Burroughs, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, IrelandGroup
2007The Writer's Brush: Visual Art by Writers, Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2007The Writer's Brush: Visual Art by Writers, Pierre Menard Gallery, Cambridge, MAGroup
2005The Unseen Art of William S. Burroughs, Riflemaker Gallery, London, UK Solo
1997William S. BurroughsPat Hearn Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1996William S. BurroughsLos Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA Solo
1996William S. BurroughsWebb Gallery, Waxahachie, TX Solo
1996William S. BurroughsRobert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA Solo
1996William S. BurroughsSpencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS Solo
1996El DoradoDavid Levik Gallery, Kansas City, MO Solo
1996William S. BurroughsZola Cafe, Westport, Kansas City, MO Solo
1996Bang-Gunshot Art, Paolo Balducci Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1996The Vehicle, Ubu Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1995William S. BurroughsTerrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA Solo
1995William S. BurroughsWashington University Gallery of Art, St. Louis, MO Solo
1995William S. BurroughsKunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik, Odense, Denmark Solo
1995Beat Culture and the New America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYGroup
1994William S. BurroughsUlrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS Solo
1994UntitledDavid Floria Gallery, Woody Creek, COGroup
1994The Ossuary, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1994UntitledNew York University, New York, NYGroup
1993William S. BurroughsThe October Galleries, London, UK Solo
1993William S. BurroughsGaleria Sephira, Madrid, Spain Solo
1993William S. BurroughsGalerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, Switzerland Solo
1993William S. BurroughsGagosian Gallery, New York City, NY Solo
1993William S. BurroughsThe Writer's Place, Kansas City, MO Solo
1993Venice Biennale, Venice, ItalyGroup
1993Poetry and Painting, Porte Galerie Avion, Marseille, FranceGroup
1993Biennale d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, FranceGroup
1992Artists en Masse, Lawrence, KS Solo
1992William S. BurroughsThe October Galleries, London, UK Solo
1992William S. BurroughsNautilus Foundation, Lloyd, FL Solo
1992William S. BurroughsHokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FL Solo
1992William S. BurroughsEarl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Solo
1992William S. BurroughsMincher-Wilcox Gallery, San Francisco, CA Solo
1992William S. BurroughsGeorge Mulder Fine Arts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Solo
1992William S. BurroughsGalerie Kunst Parterre, Viersen, Germany Solo
1992William S. BurroughsAtelier Marconi Gallery, Turin, Italy Solo
1992William S. BurroughsTransit Gallery, Bergamo, Italy Solo
1992Arco Art Fair, Galeria Sephira, Madrid, SpainGroup
1992UntitledProject Theatre, Dublin, IrelandGroup
1992UntitledSena Gallery, Santa Fe, NMGroup
1991William S. BurroughsVanguardia Galeria de Arte, Bilbao, Spain Solo
1991William S. BurroughsGalerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, Switzerland Solo
1991William S. BurroughsGalerie K, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Solo
1991UntitledArt Basel, Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
1991d'Arte Contemporanea Art Fair, Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Milan, ItalyGroup
1991UntitledMurray Feldman Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1990William S. BurroughsGalerie Waschsalon, Frankfurt, Germany Solo
1990William S. BurroughsGalerie K, Paris, France Solo
1990William S. BurroughsThe Seed Hall-Seibu Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan Solo
1990William S. BurroughsAkarenga Hall-Seibu Shibuya, Sapporo, Japan Solo
1990William S. BurroughsEarl McGrath Gallery, Los Angeles, CA Solo
1990William S. BurroughsDeutsch-Amerikanische Institut, Tubingen, Germany Solo
1990William S. BurroughsGaleria Sephira; Madrid, Spain Solo
1990UntitledXPO Galerie, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
1990UntitledThe October Galleries, London, UKGroup
1990UntitledGallery Casa Sins Nombre, Santa Fe, NMGroup
1990Arco Art Fair, Galeria Emi Valentim de Carvalho, Madrid, SpainGroup
1989William S. BurroughsCold City Gallery, Toronto, Canada Solo
1989William S. BurroughsElliot Smith Gallery, St. Louis, MO Solo
1989William S. BurroughsGalerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, Switzerland Solo
1989William S. BurroughsCleto Polcina Artemoderna, Rome, Italy Solo
1989William S. BurroughsKellas Gallery, Lawrence, KS Solo
1989William S. BurroughsGaleria Emi Valentim de Carvalho, Lisbon, Portugal Solo
1989William S. BurroughsGalerie Oboro & Atelier Roger Bellemare, Montreal, Canada Solo
1989UntitledPaul Maenz Gallery, Cologne, GermanyGroup
1989Art Basel, Galerie Carzaniga & Ueker, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
1988William S. BurroughsThe October Galleries, London, UK Solo
1988William S. BurroughsThe Western Front Gallery, Vancouver, Canada Solo
1988William S. BurroughsGallery Casa Sin Nombre, Santa Fe, NM Solo
1988UntitledThe Center for Contemporary Art, Seattle, WAGroup
1988UntitledPaul Klein Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
1988Literary Vision, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1988Amsterdam Art Fair, Suzanne Biederberg Gallery, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
1987William S. BurroughsTony Shafrazi Gallery, New York, NY Solo