My recent foray into geometric abstraction is a culmination of years of creative exploration. Its foundation started in my youth running through forests and fields, and scrambling over boulders and rock walls. Unbeknownst to me was the indelible library of natural geometry that I was building day in and day out; it was corporal joy, waiting for a visual acuity and material understanding to be creatively expressed later on.
Abstract landscapes were, understandably, my chosen oeuvre early in my painting career. These representational spaces were planar at first, teaching me to appreciate the simple forms and how to create movement with minimal information. Building on these planes three-dimensional objects were added to satisfy my vision for more complex compositions and dynamic flow. As the geometric qualities became more evident, a desire to simplify the relationships and objects grew. Bringing man-made structures into my work encouraged me to depart the organic landscape and concentrate further on the abstract. Pattern, shape and color dominated this transition and inspired continued exploration.
Recent events, though, involving loved ones and cancer, our political circus and environmental imbalance, created a pall that hung over and within me. I was creatively lost for a while. While searching for an expressive solution to this overwhelm I rediscovered my path toward abstraction with its clean shapes and strong lines. The result is my newest body of hard-edged geometric abstractions that are both soothing and provocative. In this modern series, nurturing color, math and visual psychology combine for a balance and complexity in these seemingly simple constructs. Ultimately, they are honest and uplifting - a much needed response in this day and age.
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.