September 10 - October 15, 2005
Opening Reception: Fall Gallery Night - Saturday, Sept. 10th , 2-9pm

john_holt_smith_wildflower_.jpg - 17270 Bytes
Wildflower Sequence


Listen to what you see, and look at what you hear. Audio waves and light frequencies are related in that they impact the senses in varying degrees to produce sounds and images, and they frequently overlap. A symphony can play itself out in subtle colors behind closed eyes; a work of art can be a silent shout.

On Saturday, September 10, 2005 from 2-9 pm, William Campbell Contemporary Art will open an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Fort Worth artist JOHN HOLT SMITH, an exhibition in memory of his step-father, Bill Runyon, a highly regarded patron of contemporary art.

Smith's paintings hum invisibly, vibrating like a forest of tuning forks across the chromatic spectrum. He begins with a photograph, from which he selects one thin slice that is extended horizontally or vertically from one edge of the image to the other, in the same way that one might cut straight across a photo, turn it on edge, and somehow drag a trail of color across a canvas. In the world of high technology, this technique is known as imaging spectrometry, which is the use of a spectrometer to break down light. By this means, scientists can look at a distant star and know where it has been and where it is going just from the light. "I started thinking about this during my high school physics class," says Smith. "But, until four years ago, the technology was not there, nor was I. Such is the speed of change that one can now go to the Internet and find a vast array of articles on imaging spectrometry."

Smith uses this idea as a starting point for some of the most interesting art around. He lays down hundreds of thin, exquisitely crafted bands of airbrushed color on an aluminum ground, then sets about altering them with a system of eight or nine translucent glazes each, a method similar to that of the Old Masters that he studied during a year-long painting residency in Florence, Italy. Smith's original combination of the most ancient and the most futuristic procedures succeeds in capturing with utmost precision the fingerprint of atmospheric light in one particular place at one moment in time.

After his stay in Florence, Smith spent seven years painting in New York before returning to his native Fort Worth. One of his largest abstract pieces was recently installed in the new Terminal D at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport. He observes that his cutting edge work is mechanically harder than classic portraiture because there are more colors and more mixing, and that the linear work is less forgiving of deviation from intent. Smith has been gratified at the reception his new ideas get from his portrait clients. When he began to offer to work in his signature style from photographs of people rather than from landscape, the idea caught on immediately. "This work resonates even with people who don't know that much about contemporary art," he says with obvious delight. "I show them the photos and the light goes on. Now people want their portraits done this way."

These remarkable images provide the eye with a journey which, like life itself, encounters change and arrives at understanding. "A person can take one thin slice of reality and relate it to the whole," says Smith. "It is a way to see the world more acutely."

Previous Exhibitions

 JOURNEYS: PUBLIC & PRIVATE - Work by Tarrant County artists: June 25 – August 6, 2005

 Kevin Tolman - PAINTINGS + DRAWINGS: May 14 – June 18, 2005

 Sevan Melikyan - ‘AFTER’ SERIES II: April 2 – May 2, 2005

 A FOCUSED VISION - Group Exhibition: February 11 – March 26, 2005

 Scottie Parsons - NEW PAINTINGS: December 3, 2004 – January 8, 2005

 J.T. Grant - BÊTE NOIRE: September 18 – October 23, 2004

 SURFACE - Group Exhibition: June 19 – September 4, 2004

 Judy Youngblood - NEW WORK: May 1 - June 5, 2004

William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107
PHONE: (817) 737-9566, FAX: (817) 737-5466
Gallery One Frames - (817) 737-9571

William Campbell Contemporary Art
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Tuesday – Friday
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday
and by appointment
Gallery One Frames
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday