Sullivan Goss
Celebrating 32 Years
of 19th, 20th and 21stCentury American Art
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Jack Smith: Recent Paintings
On Exhibit in Our Vollmer Gallery
October 19, 2006 through January 7, 2007


To download the catalog for this show, click here.
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FROM 5 - 7PM

A Few Words About This Exhibit

A portrait involves a complex negotiation between the sitter and the artist. Difficult questions arise in the process. The artist must ask, “How do you see yourself?” The sitter’s response may then seem calculated or natural, but it always prompts a new question, “How do you see me?” The portrait evolves as a dialog between artist and subject about the construction of identity. It is a delicate matter.

A viewer’s relationship to a portrait makes matters more interesting. Drawn to the crook of a wry smile, a pair of particularly interesting glasses, a certain expression, or even a tattoo, viewers might see themselves in the work. The experience can confirm or transform their own sense of identity.

Historically, portraiture has focused on the likeness of the rendered picture to the subject. A good portrait was said to be a good likeness and an exceptional portrait was said to convey the inner person. With the advent of photography however, the importance of capturing an accurate physical representation of the subject declined.

Fortunately, Jack Smith’s portraiture has always focused on revealing the inner person. When the people in his paintings gaze back out at us, we see their relationship to the artist, their wit, and their sense of self-image. We may even catch a glimpse of their history. A subject that gazes away, on the other hand, can provoke a sense of intrigue, which for some, will develop into fascination - a conviction that enough study will one day yield a revelation. Such is the power of portraiture.

- Jeremy Tessmer
Gallery Director

About the Artist

To learn more about the artist, click here.

What Others Are Saying

  • Artist a True Portraitsmith - Jacob Thorn, Santa Barbara News Press - October 20, 2006
  • Montecito Montage, Montecito Meanderings - J'Amy Brown, Independent - October 17, 2006
  • The Writing Salon, Catalunya, Spain, Sept. 23-28, 2007 - James Nave, Co-Director with Alegra Huston