William Betts

October 14 – November 23

Press Release

Richard Levy Gallery is pleased to present Terminal, an exhibition of new paintings by Houston based painter William Betts.

William Betts has become a plane-spotter. For this new body of work, he has haunted observation decks at airports across North America to record the sky bound silhouettes of trafficking planes. These innovative acrylic paintings, usually titled by an identifying airport code, marry state of the art engineering and proprietary software with digital photography. At close range, hundreds of raindrop size discs create pointillist abstractions, a veritable medicine cabinet of carefully modulated pastel colors. From afar, the images become minimalist snapshots, evocative shadows of airplanes on the verge of flight: equal parts technical marvel and artistic achievement.

On display in the project room is Betts’ vibrantly hued series of men and women swimming in glittering blue pools evocative of vacations, exotic retreats, and leisure. These tantalizing paintings of strangers are created on slick sheets of plexi on which thousands of tiny holes are drilled and filled with acrylic paint. Up close the image is lost and abstract spherical pixels of pigment become literal eye candy. At a distance the painting becomes an act of voyeurism as the pixilated image snaps into focus and one is left gazing at a private moment of an anonymous vacationer. Sourced from digital photography and laboriously painted, Bett’s technique challenges and expands our perceptions about contemporary painting. Both series investigate the artist’s keen interest in understanding and manipulating the temporal connection between viewer and image, and image and surface.

Born and raised in New York City, William Betts graduated from Arizona State University in 1991 with his B.A. in Studio Art and a minor in philosophy. From 1991 to 2002 he held various executive positions in the field of technology. In 2002 he left this world and married his educational background and career to create art full time. He currently lives and works in Houston, TX.

High-resolution images are available on request. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook: @levygallery 

Dates: October 14–November 23, 2011
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday, 11 am–4 pm
Location: 514 Central Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Contact: 505.766.9888, info@levygallery.com, www.levygallery.com @levygallery