As a progression from Smith’s abstract surrealist work, Therefore transcends into a more defined surface of liminal
geometric abstraction. Within the lineage of Abstract Classicism and Hard-Edge painting out of 1950s California, Smith’s paintings welcome a new form of optical geometry. Smith sees his work as a direct response to our current technologically drenched social and political landscape , while questioning ‘the unpredictable intensity of
nature seeking balance’. With his use of layered geometric form, Smith unlocks a visual splendor of 2-D optics that evoke a sense of folding and movement, not unlike the sweeping information updates in a world so new to immediacy. Smith’s minimalist paintings are often of subdued tonality, utilizing angular and warped shapes that interact with one another to unveil a continuously ‘new’ form . In conjunction to his paintings,
Smith’s light pieces of painted stacked glass exist as physical examples of unlimited layering. The work functions as a reductive method of processing what it means to live within an overstimulated reign of information exchange, while understanding the central core of realistic decline within our natural world.
Limiting his range of form, and often painting within a monotone palette, Smith asks the viewer to activate the work. The objectively flat surfaces of Smith’s paintings allow the act of looking to be essential to the aesthetic experience. Within the context of Transcendentalism, the viewer inherently brings an autonomous psychological
perspective to the work, requiring the agency of the viewer to extend the dialogue between artist, work, and experience. The exchange is intrinsically interwoven, as the viewer is invited by the work to seek a space of contemplation. The subdued hues of Smith’s paintings give space for individualized reflection of our current lived experience; our positioning within it, and what we want as we proceed through what can only be a
Ralston Fox Smith grew up in New Hampshire and attended Amherst College as well as
the Santa Monica College of Design, Art and Architecture. Smith’s work is held in
private and public collections nationally and internationally. He currently lives and works
in Asheville, NC.
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