John Holt Smith

BIOGRAPHY

Smith's paintings are studies in ultimate abstraction, reducing figurative images to their most elemental state. He begins by pinpointing and enlarging one cross-section of a photograph. A photo-editing program allows him to manipulate and stretch the selection into uniform striations, exposing its unique color signature. He then mirrors that color sequence with paint, painstakingly applying thousands of layers and lines onto an iridescent aluminum panel.

Smith's ultra-methodical approach blends traditional and contemporary, organic and industrial, artistic and scientific processes. Always seeking ways to commingle figurative painting with progressive abstraction and photography, he discovered the visual bridge of color sequencing after learning about spectroscopy-a process that captures light frоm an object in space and uses that light to analyze its composition, position, and rate of movement. He remarks: "I always thought that was a beautiful idea: that one could look at an object's color to make such determinations. I wondered what we would be able to determine about a more familiar subject, a place or a person we loved, even their eye, merely by an examination of the sequence of its light."

Smith achieves a multi-dimensional luminosity, at once the embodiment of traditional and contemporary aesthetics. The intricately layered lines shimmer and vibrate on their cool, flat support, creating palpable rhythm and depth throughout. The colors absorb and reflect light to produce a subtle glow that emanates frоm within, revealing the aesthetic and spiritual essence of both the structural components and the system they create.

A Fort Worth native, John Holt Smith has exhibited work throughout Texas and the United States, including solo and group shows in Fort Worth, Dallas, New York, and California. His work has been featured in many publications as well, including Texas Monthly, Homestyle Magazine, Fort Worth Texas Magazine, Inky-Blue Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 2006, his work appeared on the cover of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. Public works include large-scale commissions for the Joule Hotel in Dallas, Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Terminal D at the DFW International Airport, and Fort Worth's Gideon Toal building.

Smith received a B.F.A. frоm the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he concurrently worked with artist Ann Hamilton on many exhibitions, including those at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. During college, he received the William Dole Scholarship and a President's Undergraduate Fellowship, and also spent a year in Florence, Italy, studying art and art history.

b. 1968

EDUCATION

1992: University of California, Santa Barbara, BFA

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016:
Cellular Level, William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth, TX

2012:
Infinite Bloom, William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth, TX

2008:
Opiates + Oculus, William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth, TX

2005:
Sequence, William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth 

2004:
Four Walls Gallery, Fort Worth, TX

2002:
Swim, Lawndale, Houston, TX

2001:
Swim, McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, TX

1996:
Perimeter (Bathroom Studies) 2 part exhibition - TZ'ART & CO, Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, NY

1995:
From Dust, North Texas Health Science Center Atrium Gallery, Fort Worth, TX

1994:
In the Grain, Arts on Tap Gallery, Fort Worth, TX

1992:
What I Think of When I Think of Texas, Creative Studies Gallery, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015:
Made Art Museum, Dallas, TX

2011:
12 Abstractions Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, TX

2010:
Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, TX

2008:
Field of Color: Seven Contemporary Artists in Texas, Arts Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX

2005:
William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth, TX

2004:
William Campbell Contemporary Art, Fort Worth, TX

2001:
Action Heroes, The Art Center, Waco, TX
Art in the Metroplex, Templeton Gallery, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
The Creative Itch, 414 Gallery, Fort Worth, TX

2000:
ARCO, Madrid, De Chiara/Stewart, Madrid, Spain

1999:
Artforum Berlin, De Chiara/Stewart, Berlin, Germany
Critics Pix, University of Texas at Dallas, Dallas, TX
A Night to Remember, Victoria Regional Museum, Victoria, TX

1998:
The Art Exchange Show, De Chiara/Stewart Gallery, New York, NY
Still, De Chiara/Stewart Gallery, New York, NY

1997:
A Reversal of Scale, Turner & Runyon Gallery, Dallas, TX

1996:
Future History, Turner & Runyon Gallery, Dallas, TX

1994:
Recent Paintings: Todd Christensen & John Holt Smith, Alternative Site, Los Angeles, CA

1993:
Human Voice (performed by Anna Kohler), Assistant Director and Artistic Advisor - P.S. 122, New York, NY
Human Voice (performed by Anna Kohler), Assistant Director and Artistic Advisor - Downtown Art Co., New York, NY
Machine Gun in a State of Grace (by Graham Durward), Five member performance, Sandra Gering Gallery, New York, NY
The Salon Show, Art Initiatives Gallery, New York, NY

1992:
Metamorphisis, Fiona Templeton & Co., Eight member performance, The New Museum, New York, NY
The Spatial Drive, Installation, The New Museum, New York, NY
Realities, Fiona Templeton & Co., Performance and installation, Capp Street Project, San Francisco, CA
Be Our Guest, Fiona Templeton & Co., Performance and installation, Arts Awareness, Lexington, NY
Honors Show, University of California, Santa Barbara Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
The Book as a Portable Sculpture, University of California, Santa Barbara Creative Studies Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

AWARDS

1992:
William Dole Scholarship

1991:
Presidents Undergraduate Fellowship