William Betts: Array


PRESS RELEASE: William Betts: Array, May 11 - Jun 16, 2007

William Betts: Array
May 11 – Jun 16, 2007

Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas is pleased to announce William Betts: Array, a selection of fourteen new works inspired by Moiré patterning. In his second exhibition with the gallery, the artist continues to explore a painting’s potential by converging technology and photography.

Creating these paintings is a highly improvisational and unstructured process. Using the same technology Betts developed to make the line paintings, the creative process relies as much on intuition and chance as it does on planning. Paint is applied one layer at a time and the color, angle, and pitch of each layer completely alter and shift the painting in a new direction opening up new possibilities.

These paintings simply could not have been created five years ago, the technology did not exist. While one might think that the use of automation to make paintings brings regularity and assured results to the process, the tolerances these paintings require leave little room for error. The outcome is never pre-determined and the process has the potential to fail at any time.

Betts has drawn inspiration from many sources including early works of Reilly, Vasarely, Anuszkiewicz, Ellsworth Kelly, and Francois Morellat. While the paintings have an optical effect similar to many of the paintings created during the Op Art movement, they differ in a critical way: While many of those works were paintings of Moiré patterns, these paintings are moiré patterns as the arrays of lines are applied over one another and create the effect through the interaction. It is a very small but critical distinction.

Betts was born and raised in New York City.  In 1991 he graduated from Arizona State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. The artist was included in Austin Texas Biennial 2007 and was only one of three artists selected for the second time. His work has also been included in Houston Painting at Blue Star in San Antonio. Other exhibitions including his work this past year have been; Watch it! When Art and TV Meet at SUNY Stonybrook, New York; SUPERvision: Responding to the rise of Surveillance Technology at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire; and FabAb: New Abstraction at the Salt Lake Art Center. In 2006 Neal Benezra, chose Betts as the winner of the Biennial Southwest at the Albuquerque Museum. The artist has recently exhibited in Houston, Vancouver, Albuquerque, Chicago, New York, Boston and Denver. Articles on his work include reviews in San Antonio Express, Artlies, Glasstire, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Albuquerque Tribune, Chicago Tribune and Chicago Reader. The artist and his wife currently live and work in Houston, Texas.