A fine mixed media abstract painting by contemporary New Hampshire artist Gary Haven Smith (1949-2017). He was born in Boston and resided in Northwood, New Hampshire for 43 years. Every step of his life was creative. In his youth, Gary sculpted in Greece and Italy. He graduated from University of New Hampshire where he later served as an adjunct professor. Gary has become internationally recognized for his art with work featured around the world, including Japan and Holland. Trained as a sculptor, he created abstract sculptures and paintings that explored the boundaries between the enduring aspects of past cultures and the fast-paced, technologically driven nature of modern life. While his granite sculptures may retain some of their natural qualities in form and surface, by utilizing the subtractive process of carving, Smith imposed geometric shapes, hard angles, and pierced forms into the stone. He created visual passageways that pull our attention through the age of the stone to our contemporary world on the other side. These industrial facets are interspersed with more human-like, almost playful marks—gentle spirals and wavy lines—and often the addition of color. He took full advantage of the ways in which light can add both clarity and a sense of mystery to three-dimensional forms.
In the mid-1980s Smith began to make paintings, and in two dimensions, he explored some of the same issues and conflicts addressed in his sculpture. While using geometric forms or repeating organic patterns, his surfaces are rich and tactile. Given his interest in interpreting both the past and the present, it should be no surprise to note that Smith often utilizes digital media to develop the patterns and composition of his paintings. He used substantial materials, both fluid and unforgiving: encaustic and slate, oil paint and lead. His paintings—even the smallest ones—can be monumental, carrying a visual weight equal to that of his granite sculptures.
Slate and lead, sealed with acrylic oil paint on plywood, mounted on a wood frame, signed, dated ‘93, and titled “Passing Through” on verso, unframed. Dimensions: 15 ½” h x 12” x 1 ¾” d, actual.
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