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 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 physically engaging spaces. As I pushed my landscapes further towards the abstract my understanding of the geometric foundation of my work grew.
Influenced by the current political environment and the unpredictable intensity of nature seeking balance I combined the organic with the inorganic, painting a new series of landscapes 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, but despite the laudatory response, I felt the need to go in a much different direction. Inspired by other artists’ minimal visions and by the reality of my kids growing up and my parents growing old, I decided to pare down the elements and explore a clean and distinct approach to geometric shape and form. Minimal compositions, imbued with a nurturing color palette and elements of math and visual psychology was my answer to finding balance amidst these chaotic times. This new work energizes me and has opened my eyes to a realm that 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.