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Howard Smith

Artist's Website

I am interested in the process of making art and trying to make visible its means and development. This interest conjoins with a need to pare down my means whenever possible. For some time now I have focused on the brush stroke or mark as the basic element I use to build and develop space. I began using the brush stroke explicitly as a structural until in the very late seventies. Since then, the energy, thickness and direction of the stroke has evolved and changed many times along the way it interacts with the support or ground. The brush stroke recently has been short and staccato-like. This contrasts greatly with the simple quasi-rectilinear units I have been using in the freehand grids. Although the two modes differ significantly in appearance they are simply different means to approach similar problems.

Even though I continue my work in several directions simultaneously, the body of work is conceptually related. I am not interested in narrative but rather in the fusion of color, light, tactility and space. My aim is to make an art which is alive and breathes, which is visceral and yet has a sense of the ineffable. I would like to convey a sense of the magical, then a painting succeeds in going beyond its basic physicality and enters another realm.

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