"Visual Poetry" New Works by Cecil Touchon
at William Campbell Contemporary Art

4935 Byers Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76107
PHONE: (817) 737-9566, FAX: (817) 737-5466

Reception for the Artist  Saturday Feb 18th, 2006

Visual music comes in all flavors and textures in the work of Cecil Touchon. It can be as sensuous and multi-layered as a baroque opera or as spare and inferential as a cool jazz riff. It can taste like chocolate or feel like a summer breeze. An abstract painting can be so graphically precise that one can hear the melody and feel the beat.

Cecil Touchon is able to evoke a full range of intellectual and emotional response with visual images that pull the eye into the realm of the senses. He was still very young when he got the idea that he could paint music by using musical principles of construction. He understood instinctively that he could create a new musical experience each time you looked at a painting by the movement of the focal point and playing with the spacial harmonies that were created in the process. As he has moved into the prime of his career, his work has gone far beyond those original impulses, and yet a sence of musicality remains as an undercurrent in his work.

Touchon’s art covers a wide range of abstraction, from somewhat Cubist studies of almost discernible subjects to lyrical, interwoven grids to subtly shaded trompe l’oeil geometric solids complete with implied frames. His entire body of work interrelates seamlessly because of two factors: motion and juxtaposition. In every piece, the viewer’s eye is led at a lively clip all around and in and out of the composition. Even the most angular framework pulsates with dynamic life.

Touchon creates many of his most subtle rhythms by working in collage, tucking bright inferences behind tantalizing surfaces or inventing new relationships by disassembling and reassembling components in an almost jigsaw fashion. These studies in various sizes are complete works of art, and in some cases they also act as intermediate steps becoming studies for paintings. In the latter case, the collage metaphor is carried through to the surface texture. The illusion of built-up layers and sharply cut edges adds an interplay of light and shadow that heightens the mystery even as it relieves the modernist severity of a minimalist canvas.

Touchon’s interest in collage extends outside his studio to the world at large. Ten years ago, he positioned himself at the crossroads of this germinal medium by founding the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage, and Construction (IMCAC). He has amassed a large collection that he keeps in circulation, either through the institution’s website, www.collagemuseum.com or through traveling exhibitions. He also maintains a physical location in Cuernevaca, Mexico, at a residential art school and bed and breakfast facility, www.casadelartista.com that is operated jointly with his wife Rosalia.

Touchon is a fountainhead of fine art, producing a kaleidoscope of images that have found their way into European museum exhibitions, scholarly publications, and private residences. His work hangs publicly in so many corporate collections that it has become a part of the business environment. At play in the fields of form, Cecil Touchon generates a continuously evolving stream of art that is the embodiment of classical modernist elegance.

The upcoming exhibition at William Campbell Contemporary Art is dedicated by Touchon to another legendary modernist pioneer of art in Fort Worth, his cousin Cynthia Brants - part of the Fort Worth School of artists - who passed on recently.

Suzanne Deats

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