Peter Williams, Who Painted the Black Experience, Dies at 69

Peter Williams, whose colorful paintings — sometimes humorous, sometimes disturbing, often both — reflected his own history, Black history and contemporary issues like police brutality and mass incarceration, died on Aug. 19 in Wilmington, Del. He was 69.

His wife, Elishka Vitanovska Mayer, said the cause was a heart attack.

Mr. Williams first exhibited as a teenager — he offered paintings for sale at the Woodstock music festival in 1969 — and was prolific for half a century. His output was vast and ever-changing. Some of his work was abstract, some figurative; some represented an interior monologue in which he sought to define his own identity; some spoke directly and bluntly to current events.