OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, May 4, 2017 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Extraordinary/Ordinary, an exhibition of new photographs by Fort Worth artist
Luther Smith, will be on display May 4 through June 17 at William Campbell
Contemporary Art. An opening reception will be held Thursday, May 4, from 6:00
to 8:00 p.m. The show will include nearly two dozen new color photographs
consisting of everyday outdoor scenes shot in and around Fort Worth. The large
scale of the prints, in conjunction with Smith's ultra-amplified light and
color and overt depth of field, create a microenvironment around each piece
that allows viewers to more fully enter the visual spaces and interact with the
Nature-in bloom and dormant-looms large in Extraordinary/Ordinary, both a nod
to the splendor of unspoiled land and a symbol of freedom within a controlled,
structured environment. A number of the compositions illuminate the simple
beauty revealed in combinations of line, color, and texture found in the
undeveloped landscape. Still others center on the natural spaces that abut
neighborhoods and manmade structures, and how the two coexist physically and
Smith describes this collection of photographs as the manifestation of how his
imagination would view the spaces, rather than a simple physical record of them.
In fact, the work possesses a hyper-lucid, crystalline quality that transcends
what we might disregard with the naked eye as the monotony of brush-filled,
overgrown, suburban sprawl. It conceives of the outdoors as a dreamlike space,
infusing otherwise mundane scenes with a mesmerizing allure. In turn, the
images of familiar (if not overlooked) surroundings belie their origins with
saturated colors and light that emphasize the complex arrays of organic and
geometric shapes, along with layers of texture. Layers of history emerge as
well, in overlapping strata of natural and manmade formations struggling for
"A literal, factual view of the world is less interesting than my spiritual
response to it," says Smith. "My response to color and light and the changes
to the environment over time fuels my photography. I have an emotional attachment
to plants, light, and nature." As a result, this collection recalls time the
artist spent as a child exploring the woods and farmland in rural Mississippi
and Illinois. It reminds him of the innocence and simplicity of childhood, of
the spaces children often inhabit. The pictures evoke a "spiritual connection
to environmental space" for Smith, offering glimpses of an ideal past amid the
tedium of the present.
Smith is as fascinated by the process of making photographs as he is by the
content he presents. He has embraced new technology as of late, shooting with
a digital camera and employing imaging software to create photos that are at
once contemporary signposts and mementos of his past. In this manner, he engages
the medium on its most advanced level, as a whole new art form. According to
Smith, "Photos aren't found, but made."
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A highly acclaimed photographer, Luther Smith has exhibited his work across
Texas and throughout the United States for nearly four decades. His photographs
have appeared in local and regional venues in Fort Worth, Dallas, Arlington,
Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Waco, to name a few. Nationally, he has
exhibited work from California to Maine, including venues in New York, San
Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Santa Fe,
and St. Louis, among others.
Smith's photographs appear in many public collections, among them the Amon Carter
Museum of American Art, the Library of Congress, the Art Institute of Chicago,
the Dallas Museum of Art, Fidelity Investments, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta,
the Illinois State Museum, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Houston's
Museum of Fine Arts, the Pacific Telesis Collection in San Francisco, the
Phoenix Arts Commission, and the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock.
His photographs have appeared in many books, including Photography 9,
Photography 8, and Photography 7, published by Prentice Hall; the Trinity
River, a monograph published by TCU Press; and the Book of 35mm Photography,
by Curtin & London. Periodicals that have included Smith's work include Fort
Worth Magazine, D Magazine, Chicago Magazine, American Artist Magazine, and
Mademoiselle, to name a few.
Smith has taught photography for more than thirty-five years, and began his
career at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty
of TCU in 1983, and currently serves as professor of art there. Luther Smith
received his MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and
his BFA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
About William Campbell Contemporary Art
William Campbell Contemporary Art is pleased to announce its 42nd Anniversary
having opened on November 24, 1974.
Through the years, Bill and Pam Campbell have become an integral part of the
Texas art scene. They have dealt with some of the most important artists of
the day, as well as some of the most promising ones that have come to their
notice. Many of the latter have become the former.
The years have brought an ever-widening circle of involvements in the art world,
as well as a life beyond anything ever expected. "We still get excited about
seeing a great work of art for the first time and feel tremendous joy every
time our efforts bear fruit on behalf of an artist."
The Campbells' community involvement has included leadership roles and
behind-the-scenes support of worthwhile activities. Their deepest satisfaction
has been in connecting several generations of artists and collectors with one
another, within the gallery and beyond to the national and international level.
"Watching and being a part of artists' thriving careers has been exceedingly
Bill and Pam Campbell would like to thank friends, associates, several
generations of collectors, the community, the media, and a host of great
artists for a wonderful forty years.
William Campbell Contemporary Art
4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107
PHONE 817-737-9566, FAX 817-737-5466