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William Betts: Sliver of Clarity


Holly Johnson Gallery in Dallas is pleased to announce the opening of William Betts: Sliver of Clarity, a selection of new large-scale paintings. In his first exhibition with the gallery, the artist continues to explore a painting’s potential by converging digital photography, industrial technology, and classical painting. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, July 22, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The exhibition continues through September 3, 2005.

Using small samples of information taken from personal digital photographs, William Betts captures places, moments, and even glances to the periphery. These digital samples are then expanded to create an abstract work maintaining its organic origin.

By means of proprietary technology of his own development, Betts executes a work using specifically mixed colors allowing the acrylic paint to be applied in areas 1/64 inch wide while providing accuracy of 1/2000 of an inch. Each painting can contain up to 2000 lines of paint - applied one color and one line at a time. This elaborate process allows for a high level of detail and precision focusing the viewer on the organic rhythms and giving us slender slices of the real world in lines of vivid color.

The process enhances the ambiguity of the work by introducing elements of production to the traditional painting endeavor and further blurs the distinctions between photographic, industrial, and classical painting’s roots. By combining these qualities, the works maintain an ambiguity between what is known and what is possible between the pictorial truth and our aspirations.

William 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.  Betts had his first solo show in Houston in 2004 to much critical acclaim and subsequently has exhibited in solo shows in New York, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; and Denver, Colorado. In the spring of 2005, Dominic Molon, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago awarded Betts a Third Place Prize for his entry in the “Assistance League of Houston: Celebrates Texas Art”.  He has also recently been included in a number of group exhibitions such as the “Texas Biennial 2005” in Austin, “Sizzle” at DiverseWorks in Houston, and “The Big Show” at Lawndale also in Houston.  The artist currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.

William Betts: Sliver of Clarity

Jul 22 – Sep 3, 2005