My recent foray into geometric abstraction is my creative response to the chaotic world around me. Before I evolved to this minimal hard-edged style my focus was on abstract landscapes that I composed from experience and emotion. Inherent to these settings was a spatial understanding born from my childhood exploration of our woods, fields and streams. More planar at first, and with few elements, my early work taught me the strength of line and movement within simple compositions. Three-dimensional objects were then added to satisfy my desire for more complex and physical spaces. As I continued this expression, within a natural context, my understanding of the geometric foundation of my work grew. Ultimately, this encouraged me to paint man-made geometric structures into my landscapes - a combining of the organic and the inorganic.
Influenced by the current political circus/crisis and the unpredictable intensity of nature seeking balance I entered a short period of political paintings with geometric entities representing man and “his” effect on our world. The elements in these pieces became more numerous as I became more enveloped by these events, and I soon became overwhelmed and in need of a reprieve. Inspired by other artists’ responses in history to distressful times, and by the reality of my kids growing up and my parents growing old, I decided to pare down the elements and explore a new approach to geometric shape and form. Minimal compositions, imbued with a nurturing color palette and elements of math and visual psychology, is my creative pursuit to finding balance amidst these chaotic times. This new work energizes me and also harkens back to every period of my creative output.
Ralston Fox Smith grew up in New Hampshire and attended Amherst College where he earned a B.F.A. He continued his art studies at the Santa Monica College of Design, Art and Architecture studying under Los Four artist Frank Romero, contemporary abstract artist Laddie John Dill, and Beat Generation artist George Herms. Their collaborative teaching fueled Fox’s passion for oil painting and its direct expression of self and surroundings. He is inspired by and presently lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, two children and large dog.