Biography & CV


Bill Claps is a visual artist and writer.  Born in Glen Ridge, N.J., he has an A.B from Harvard University, where he studied painting and art history, and has studied painting and drawing at the Art Students League in New York and in Florence, Italy.  He is the Visual Arts Director and Curator of the Jersey City Theatre Center and Merseles Studios Gallery in Jersey City, N.J., and a contributing writer to Artspace Magazine and Exibart Magazine.  Bill lives and works in New York City. 

Click here to read an interview of Claps discussing his process with Andrew Goldstein, Editor in Chief of Artspace

Artist Statement

My most recent works utilize Morse code to communicate various ideas and thoughts, utilizing photos and prints of my drawings in my works, and relying on text and symbolic representation to present my ideas.   In an age where all of our art and communication can be reduced to and stored in a binary language, the fact that Morse code was one of the earliest forms of digital code and the first universal language of the digital age resonates strongly with me.  There’s beauty in the simplicity of the simple dots and dashes of this outdated language, but layers of meaning and relevance can be conveyed using its symbolic lexicon.

The mixed media works and videos in my most recent series, “Artspeak”, comment on the coded language used in art journalism and critique and analyze how people react to this language.  The mixed media works translate phrases taken from press releases of art exhibitions into Morse code, and the video "Enduring Conundrum" captures individuals from all walks of life repeating those phrases in their own words, revealing how they respond to contemporary art. 

Previously my work had been characterized by immediacy and gesture, executed combining elements of both painting and drawing, and I typically tapped into the instinctual and subconscious to create spontaneous works of art.  The line was essential, as its path through the work told the story and evoked the mood.   

My inspiration has come from sources as varied as language and code, calligraphy, the human figure, Chinese landscape painting,  expressionism, and appropriated images from contemporary art.   



2015        “Recent Works”, Exhibit Gallery, Tulsa, O.K.

2014        “Enduring Conundrum”, Evartspace, Geneva, Switzerland

                “Artspeak”, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Palazzo Corsini, Rome, Italy

2013        “Sum of the Parts”, Art for China Foundation, New York, N.Y.

2011         “From Line to Pixel”, Solomon Arts Gallery, N.Y,  N.Y. , Two person show

2007       “Recent Works”, Rockwell Fine Art, Westport, CT.

2006       “Figurative Expressions”, Bendheim Gallery, Greenwich, CT.

                 “Autumn Passage”, Kismet Gallery, Westport, CT.

                “Recent Works”, N.Y. Mercantile ExchangeGallery, New York, N.Y.

2005       Solo Show, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT.


2015      “Respond”, Smack Mellon Gallery, Brooklyn, NY 

               "Artspeak Installation",  The (un)Fair, New York, NY  (commission during Armory Week)

               "Artmix", Evartspace, Geneva, Switzerland

               "Anniversary Show: 21'st Precinct", Judith Charles Gallery, New York, NY

               "Made in LIC", Edison Price Gallery, Long Island City, NY

2014       Scope Art Fair, Mark Hachem Gallery (Paris), Miami, FL

               Artgeneve Art Fair, Geneva, Switzerland

               ArtMonaco Art Fair, Monte Carlo, Monaco

               Select Art Fair, Miami, FL

               “The Skull Show”, Curated by Carrie Lederer, Bedford Gallery at the 

               Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, CA 

               “21st Precinct”, Curated by Rob Aloia, 21st Precinct Space, New York, N.Y.

               “Déjà Vu”, NOoSphere Gallery, New York, N.Y.

               “Tribeca Pioneer Artists Exhibition”, Salomon Arts Gallery, New York, N.Y.

2013       “Curate NYC”, Gallery Brooklyn, Brooklyn, N.Y.

               “Gallery Artists”, Exhibit Gallery, Tulsa, O.K.

2012       “2012 Benefit Show”, White Box,  New York, N.Y.

               “10 x 10”, Reis Gallery, Long Island City, N.Y.

2011        “Curate NYC”, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, N.Y.

2010       “Concerto of Illumination”, M55 Gallery, Long Island City, N.Y.

2009      “Group Exhibition”, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, N.Y.

2008      “Vibrance”, Henry Gregg Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

                “Exhibition 19”, 14th Street Gallery,  New York, N.Y.

2007       “Exhibition 18”, 14th Street Gallery,  New York, N.Y.

                “Group Exhibition”, Canco Gallery, Jersey City, N.J.

2006       “Oil and Water”, City Lights Gallery, Bridgeport, CT 

                ”Gallery Artists”, Aspen Fine Arts Gallery, Aspen, Co.

2005       ”Gallery Artists”, Aspen Fine Arts Gallery, Aspen, Co.

                “Exhibition 16”, 14th Street Gallery, New York, N.Y.

2004       “Summer Exhibition”, D. D. & B. Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y.

                “Works on Paper”, Spring Street Studio, New York, N.Y.

                “Small Works”, Washington Square East Galleries, New York, N.Y.

2003       “Singular Expressions”, D. D. & B. Gallery, Brooklyn, N.Y.

                “Small Works”, Washington Square East Galleries, New York, N.Y.

2002       “Works on Paper”, Spring Street Studio, New York, N.Y.