Sentient Meat: Featuring New Works on Paper by T Smith

January 5, 2019 - January 31, 2019
Recurring daily
2305 Dunlavy | Houston, TX 77006
Phone: (713) 522-2409
Times: Mon-Sat 10-6 Sun 1-5
Area of Town: Montrose

Opening Reception
DATE:           Saturday, January 5, 2019
TIME:            5 - 8 p.m.; with Artist Talk at 6:30 p.m.
                      After party with the artist: 8 - 10 p.m.
LOCATION:  2305 Dunlavy, Houston, TX 77006
                     Complimentary Valet Parking
                     Light Refreshments, including bites generously provided by Kam's


The artist will be at the opening reception to visit with guests on Saturday, January 5, from 5 – 8 p.m., and will discuss the exhibition in a talk at 6:30 p.m. Following the reception, the gallery will remain open from 8 – 10 p.m. for an informal “after party” with the artist. The public is invited to stay for beverages, music, and conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. Seating will be provided.

Known primarily as a painter of large-scale enigmatic oil on canvas works, T. Smith makes a marked departure in scale and media with Sentient Meat, while still maintaining the guiding principle of Smith’s exploration of “Patternism” (see excerpt from the artist’s statement, below).

All works in this show are new, recently completed in 2018. Each piece is hand drawn using a combination of conventional graphite pencils and Pentel Graph Gear mechanical pencils on acid-free Strathmore paper or Bristol vellum board.

Each image is a detailed view into a slab of meat from both a macro and a micro perspective. The same type of patterns seen in raw ‘meat’ are represented in the human body. Peering down into the depths of each subsequent layer of meat reveals patterns similar to those in human flesh…the brain, blood vessels, varieties of tissues, muscle, arteries, bone, sinew, brain gyrus, lobes, medulla, poles; cross sections of organs…kidneys, brains, membranes, canals, tubes, vestibules, nerves, cavities. Lines, shapes, shadows of lights and reflections of darks cross through, above, and over one another, conjoining into a micro and macroscopic viscera of organic forms.

Fractal self similarity in flesh, represented at each level, replicates that of mother nature at the macro level: mountain ranges, granite quarries, coastline edges and the meander of liquid bodies such as rivers. The drawings themselves echo anatomical depictions of the human body by Henry Vandyke Carter, the English anatomist, surgeon, and artist most notable for his illustrations of the book, Gray's Anatomy.

Sentient Meat, a term Rust Cohle utters in “True Detective,” elucidates the dichotomy of masses of flesh being perceiving self-aware organisms. Man and animal are each equally both, as evidenced from the inside out and the  outside in. All ‘meat’ is composed of the same four types of tissue: epithelial, connective, nervous, and muscle; from the Greater to the Smaller and the Smaller to the Greater.

Excerpt from the Artist’s Statement:
The visual physical world is connected in subtle ways that can be easily overlooked. I work from my own photographs to discover the connections between seemingly disparate elements that combine to form a greater reality than their independent parts. Actual visual images are transformed into a third-generation idea from physical reality to camera to canvas.

As an artist, my interest is in the underlying associations formed by the repetition of shapes and lines from not only material forms but also those of transient matter such as shadows and reflections operating on the same visual plane in a realistic abstraction.

I consider myself a Patternist primarily interested in the affinities of emerging connections when taken as a whole. Patternism is reality viewed as a wave rather than a particle; it is the missing link between normal spatial perception and fractured spatial perception. Patternism is one link removed from normality, yet it is still very evident.

About T. Smith:
Smith, a former Hunting Art Prize Finalist, was named one of the “Top Ten Painters in Houston” and “Top 100- Creatives” by the Houston Press. The artist’s work has been selected for numerous local and national juried shows, as well as exhibitions including Art Prize Grand Rapids, Artopia, and Houston’s Annual Art Crawl. Smith attended Sam Houston State University as an art and photography major with a minor in cinematography and studied painting for several years at the Glassell School of Art and the Art League of Houston. In addition to painting and drawing, Smith is an accomplished photographer recording and finding artistic source material in travels around the U.S. and internationally. Nature, film, architecture, literature, travel, physics, and philosophy play a significant role in the Smith’s artistic oeuvre with emphasis on spiritual new thought evinced through the writings of Jane Roberts.