The artist will be at the opening reception to visit with guests on Saturday, January 5, from 5 – 8 p.m., and will discuss the exhibition in a talk at 6:30 p.m. Following the reception, the gallery will remain open from 8 – 10 p.m. for an informal “after party” with the artist. The public is invited to stay for beverages, music, and conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. Seating will be provided.
Known primarily as a painter of large-scale enigmatic oil on canvas works, T. Smith makes a marked departure in scale and media with Sentient Meat, while still maintaining the guiding principle of Smith’s exploration of “Patternism” (see excerpt from the artist’s statement, below).
All works in this show are new, recently completed in 2018. Each piece is hand drawn using a combination of conventional graphite pencils and Pentel Graph Gear mechanical pencils on acid-free Strathmore paper or Bristol vellum board.
Each image is a detailed view into a slab of meat from both a macro and a micro perspective. The same type of patterns seen in raw ‘meat’ are represented in the human body. Peering down into the depths of each subsequent layer of meat reveals patterns similar to those in human flesh…the brain, blood vessels, varieties of tissues, muscle, arteries, bone, sinew, brain gyrus, lobes, medulla, poles; cross sections of organs…kidneys, brains, membranes, canals, tubes, vestibules, nerves, cavities. Lines, shapes, shadows of lights and reflections of darks cross through, above, and over one another, conjoining into a micro and macroscopic viscera of organic forms.
Fractal self similarity in flesh, represented at each level, replicates that of mother nature at the macro level: mountain ranges, granite quarries, coastline edges and the meander of liquid bodies such as rivers. The drawings themselves echo anatomical depictions of the human body by Henry Vandyke Carter, the English anatomist, surgeon, and artist most notable for his illustrations of the book, Gray's Anatomy
Sentient Meat, a term Rust Cohle utters in “True Detective,” elucidates the dichotomy of masses of flesh being perceiving self-aware organisms. Man and animal are each equally both, as evidenced from the inside out and the outside in. All ‘meat’ is composed of the same four types of tissue: epithelial, connective, nervous, and muscle; from the Greater to the Smaller and the Smaller to the Greater.
Excerpt from the Artist’s Statement:
The visual physical world is connected in subtle ways that can be easily overlooked. I work from my own photographs to discover the connections between seemingly disparate elements that combine to form a greater reality than their independent parts. Actual visual images are transformed into a third-generation idea from physical reality to camera to canvas.
As an artist, my interest is in the underlying associations formed by the repetition of shapes and lines from not only material forms but also those of transient matter such as shadows and reflections operating on the same visual plane in a realistic abstraction.
I consider myself a Patternist primarily interested in the affinities of emerging connections when taken as a whole. Patternism is reality viewed as a wave rather than a particle; it is the missing link between normal spatial perception and fractured spatial perception. Patternism is one link removed from normality, yet it is still very evident.