Art of the Day: Jeff Kellar- Gravity + Light

JEFF KELLAR

GRAVITY + LIGHT

  

 Saturday, September 9, 2017

FALL GALLERY NIGHT

12 to 9 pm

 
Gravity and Light, an exhibition of new two- and three-dimensional works by Jeff Kellar, will be on display September 9 through October 14 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. The gallery will host an opening reception on FWADA’s Fall Gallery Night, Saturday, September 9, from noon to 9:00 p.m. The exhibition will include abstract paintings and sculptures from Kellar’s RevealWinter Drawings, and Glimpse 2 series. Created simultaneously, each collection of work examines the complexities of spatial relationships, focusing on the fundamental elements of object construction and the effects of external physical and visual forces on them.
A shape rests on a shape. Color presses on color. The simple pleasure of perceiving space and the place of things. To describe how the world comes together using economical means. All the wonder of the world finds shape in gravity and light.
By exploring how far he can effectively reduce visual detritus, Kellar seeks to reveal the magnitude of basic compositional elements, to employ the power of simplicity to transform potentially subtle facets like shape, line, and color into the crux of the work.
Kellar works in a mixture of resin, clay, and pigment-materials that he describes as “holding the memory of many things.” He applies multiple layers to each surface to build segments of color that range from bold to subtle, but invariably display a certain depth and intensity (not unlike frescoes). His paintings are on thin aluminum panels that float a half-inch from the wall, protruding into viewer space and emphasizing the objectness of the pieces. The resulting shadows around the panels situate them in space, while also describing the effects of gravity and light on their physicality. “They’re not so much a window on the world but a surface to hold illusion,” he says.
The paintings with repeated shapes and lines allow the suggestion of movement and rhythm as well as objects in relation to space. I think that time is a spatial and rhythmic concept and that by capturing a moment it’s possible to heighten the awareness of being alive.
Tiny yet monumental totems, Kellar’s block sculptures initiate perception play as they interact with their larger, two-dimensional counterparts. “There’s something that appeals to me about making it small and making your imagination be the thing that can place you in relation to it,” Kellar says of the sculptures. “I think that’s the appeal of them.” Though attached, the small-scale blocks appear to balance freely on one another, creating potential energy and spurring additional visual banter among the pieces about the importance of scale, color, and how we perceive the importance of each.
 
Ultimately, Kellar utilizes assemblages of color and form to communicate how these integral components reflect and embody the surrounding world. “It’s all about space, or objects in space,” says the artist, who describes such minimal work as permissive and open, allowing viewers to fill in or take out visual stimuli and emotional content as they interact with it. His nonrepresentational paintings and sculptures, in turn, become universal in nature, not attributed to one time, place, or style. They engage each viewer uniquely, depending on experiences, memories, and aesthetic preferences. “The work is about the senses and its physical attributes and the way I hope it makes you feel.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST
A highly acclaimed painter and sculptor, Jeff Kellar has exhibited work across the United States for more than two decades, including venues in New York, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, as well as throughout his home state of Maine. He has received numerous prizes and awards, including the coveted Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Individual Support Grant in 2014, the Purchase Prize at the Portland Museum of Art’s 2007 Maine Biennial, and a Good Idea Grant in Digital Printmaking from the Maine Arts Commission in 2005.
Kellar’s art has been featured in many publications, among them THE magazine, Sculpture magazine,the Boston Sunday Herald, the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Philadelphia Inquirer,and the Portland Phoenix. His work also appears in Maine Art New by Edgar Allen Beem, and in the 2007 Main Biennial exhibition catalog published by the Portland Museum of Art.
Kellar’s paintings appear in various public collections, including those of the Portland Museum of Art in Maine; the University of Maine, Farmington; Illinois ‘ Elmhurst Art Museum; and the Microsoft Collection in Seattle. He had a residency and taught at the University of Southern Maine, and was a visiting artist at the University of Maine Farmington. He also served for two years on the Maine Arts Commission Advisory Panel.
Jeff Kellar received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and has also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Fleisher Memorial Art Institute in Philadelphia.

 

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Art of the Day: Luther Smith – Extraordinary / Ordinary

LUTHER SMITH

EXTRAORDINARY / ORDINARY

 May 4 – June 17, 2017 

OPENING RECEPTION

Thursday, May 4

6:00 – 8:00 pm

 
Extraordinary/Ordinary, an exhibition of new photographs by Fort Worth artist Luther Smith, will be on display May 4 through June 17 at William Campbell Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Thursday, May 4, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The show will include nearly two dozen new color photographs consisting of everyday outdoor scenes shot in and around Fort Worth. The large scale of the prints, in conjunction with Smith’s ultra-amplified light and color and overt depth of field, create a microenvironment around each piece that allows viewers to more fully enter the visual spaces and interact with the subject matter.
Nature-in bloom and dormant-looms large in Extraordinary/Ordinary, both a nod to the splendor of unspoiled land and a symbol of freedom within a controlled,
 structured environment. A number of the compositions illuminate the simple beauty revealed in combinations of line, color, and texture found in the undeveloped landscape. Still others center on the natural spaces that abut neighborhoods and manmade structures, and how the two coexist physically and aesthetically.
Smith describes this collection of photographs as the manifestation of how his imagination would view the spaces, rather than a simple physical record of them. In fact, the work possesses a hyper-lucid, crystalline quality that transcends what we might disregard with the naked eye as the monotony of brush-filled, overgrown, suburban sprawl. It conceives of the outdoors as a dreamlike space, infusing otherwise mundane scenes with a mesmerizing allure. In turn, the images of familiar (if not overlooked) surroundings belie their origins with saturated colors and light that emphasize the complex arrays of organic and geometric shapes, along with layers of texture. Layers of history emerge as well, in overlapping strata of natural and manmade formations struggling for dominance.
“A literal, factual view of the world is less interesting than my spiritual response to it,” says Smith. “My response to color and light and the changes to the environment over time fuels my photography. I have an emotional attachment to plants, light, and nature.” As a result, this collection recalls time the artist spent as a child exploring the woods and farmland in rural Mississippi and Illinois. It reminds him of the innocence and simplicity of childhood, of the spaces children often inhabit. The pictures evoke a “spiritual connection to environmental space” for Smith, offering glimpses of an ideal past amid the tedium of the present.
Smith is as fascinated by the process of making photographs as he is by the content he presents. He has embraced new technology as of late, shooting with a digital camera and employing imaging software to create photos that are at once contemporary signposts and mementos of his past. In this manner, he engages the medium on its most advanced level, as a whole new art form. According to Smith, “Photos aren’t found, but made.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A highly acclaimed photographer, Luther Smith has exhibited his work across Texas and throughout the United States for nearly four decades. His photographs have appeared in local and regional venues in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Waco, to name a few. Nationally, he has exhibited work from California to Maine, including venues in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Santa Fe, and St. Louis, among others.
Smith’s photographs appear in many public collections, among them the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the Library of Congress, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, Fidelity Investments, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Illinois State Museum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Pacific Telesis Collection in San Francisco, the Phoenix Arts Commission, and the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
His photographs have appeared in many books, including Photography 9, Photography 8, and Photography 7, published by Prentice Hall; the Trinity River, a monograph published by TCU Press; and the Book of 35mm Photography, by Curtin & London. Periodicals that have included Smith’s work include Fort Worth Magazine, D Magazine, Chicago Magazine, American Artist Magazine, and Mademoiselle, to name a few.
Smith has taught photography for more than thirty-five years, and began his career at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty of TCU in 1983, and currently serves as professor of art there. Luther Smith received his MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and his BFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
ABOUT THE GALLERY

Founded in 1974 by William and Pam Campbell, William Campbell Contemporary Art exhibits high-quality contemporary art in a variety of media, including paintings, works on paper, mixed-media constructions, photography, prints, ceramics, and sculpture. By exhibiting nationally recognized artists, along with new and emerging talent, the gallery aims to nurture an awareness and appreciation of the exciting diversity found in contemporary art.