walking the horizon, an exhibition of new paintings by Fort Worth
artist J.T. Grant, will be on display September 8 through October 13 at
William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held on
Fort Worth Art Dealers Association (FWADA) Fall Gallery Night, Saturday,
September 8, from noon to 9:00 p.m. walking the horizon will feature Grant's
signature skyscapes and still lifes, which embody traditional oil techniques,
opulent colors, and naturalistic depictions, even as their narratives impart a
subtle sense of angst.
Grant's latest body of work is driven by the feelings of chaos he experiences
as he struggles to navigate today's sociopolitical realm. This personal tumult
materializes in his purposefully painted compositions as unbalanced objects,
off-kilter perspectives, or cleverly imbued psychic friction. Such a subjective
accounting of our chaotic world appears, however, in largely universal visual
terms, as Grant passes these ugly, uncomfortable ideas through his filter of
lush hues and dramatic yet placid light.
Similar to the Old Masters, whose robust, representational painting style he
rivals, Grant employs nature as a metaphor for his ideas. Fruit stacked up and
on the verge of toppling, or skies that portray a beautiful yet haunting
light-Grant's objects and forms remain rife with potential energy, although
the coming surge appears uncertain, and at times, dire. The artist has long
looked to the Texas skies for inspiration, drawn to their aesthetic majesty as
well as their ever-changing character. He considers the sky in general to
perform as an effective vehicle for his visual thesis, recognizing it as an
organic space, simultaneously permanent and in flux, and accessible to viewers
on visual, intellectual, and emotional platforms.
Grant considers color as its own language of sorts, and in effect engages
viewers through an array of rich pigments, strong contrasts, and more subtle
tonal exchanges. "The psychology of the colors forms a complete and fully
formed vocabulary," he says. Indeed, such a language employs a timeless,
universal form of communication that audiences can appreciate for its masterful
brushwork, light translations, or satiating story, while also emerging with
something deeper. Grant explains, "I'm trying to use luscious, beautiful colors
that hopefully, as I combine them in the right way, offer a fairly distinct,
lower-consciousness narrative that the viewer may tap into unwillingly and unknowingly..."
Ultimately, Grant strives for an aesthetic quality that transcends the ages and
maintains its message as well. He presents timely consequences wrapped in a
timeless vision, using shape, form, and color to narrate and preserve his own
feelings of discomfort with the world, in turn producing canvases that fuse
traditional beauty with agitated allure.
As its title suggests, walking the horizon prompts viewers to consider that
liminal space where solid ground and hazy firmament meet, where trusted
quantities are upended and unrecognizable, despite pristine outward appearances.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
For more than two decades, acclaimed Fort Worth artist J.T. Grant has exhibited
his work in solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas and across the United
States. Noteworthy juried exhibitions include First Texas Annual and Art in the
Metroplex, where prominent jurors Luis Jimenez and James Surls awarded him Best
in Show for two consecutive years. He has been invited to jury the Annual
Congressional Arts Competition and was also recognized as the featured artist
in Fort Worth's 2003 Artists Against AIDS exhibition.
A scholar and teacher as well, Grant has lectured and taught classes at the
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TCU, and the Kimbell Art Museum, where he has
given two presentations in the museum's prestigious Artist's Eye series. In
2011, he organized and directed an art competition for the Trinity River Vision
Authority, and today continues to give lectures and demonstrate techniques to
various painting groups.
Grant's work may be found in various public collections, including those of the
Dallas Museum of Art, the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi, and the
Fort Worth Public Library, among others. He has received commissions from the
Omni Hotel, RadioShack, and Acme Brick in Fort Worth, and in 2008, he was
commissioned to create the White House Christmas Ornament. Most recently, Grant
was selected to paint a Fort Worth cityscape for the captain's boardroom of the
littoral combat ship, USS Fort Worth - a commission arranged by U.S. Representative
Kay Granger. Additionally, he has been featured in FW Weekly and in Great Artists
of the Southwest, a coffee-table book published in 2014.
A native of Georgia, J.T. Grant received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth
University and his MFA from TCU.