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Valton Tyler
Homage to Galileo

1970

$650

About

In The New York Times Arts in America column, Edward M. Gomez wrote of Valton Tyler, "visionary seems the right word for describing his vivid, unusual and technically refined paintings, prints and drawings, whose style defies convenient labels. Abstract, surreal, cartoonish, sci-fi fantastic, metaphysical, apocalyptic-Baroque - all of these fit but also fall short of fully describing his art." (The Living Arts, June 13, 2000, p. B2) Valton Tyler was born in 1944 in Texas, where "the industrial world of oil refineries made a long-lasting impression on Valton as a very young child living in Texas City." (Reynolds, p. 25) After leaving Texas City, Valton made his way to Dallas, where he briefly enrolled at the Dallas Art Institute, but found it to be too social and commercial for his taste. After Valton's work was introduced to Donald Vogel (founder of Valley House Gallery), "Vogel arranged for Tyler to use the printmaking facilities in the art department of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where the young artist essentially taught himself several demanding printmaking techniques. 'It was remarkable,' Vogel says. 'Not only did he learn complicated etching methods, but he was able to express himself powerfully in whatever medium he explored.' Vogel became the publisher of Tyler's prints. Among them, the artist made editions of some 50 different images whose sometimes stringy abstract forms and more solid, architecturally arresting elements became the precursors of his later, mature style." (Gomez, Raw Vision #35, p. 36) "Homage to Galileo" is plate number 3, and is reproduced in "The First Fifty Prints: Valton Tyler" with text by Rebecca Reynolds, published for Valley House Gallery by Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, Texas, 1972. In "The First Fifty Prints," Reynolds describes this print and recounts Valton Tyler's description of this image: "This plate is perhaps one of Valton's most haunting works. The more imaginary forms of later plates that seem to move and breathe are really less threatening in that we accept them as Valton's personal imagery, but this scene forms a disturbing paradox with our own pictorial vocabulary. The title itself reflects the anticipation of our acceptance of subject matter and historical period, but is it a scene of a physicist's study? Are these his astronomical instruments and experiments? Is the intention humorous, or is Valton making a serious symbolic statement akin to Durer's "Melancholia I"? The human heart, set on a pedestal and barely discernible in the dark shadows on the right, might contrast man's emotional life with his mental life. These are the questions Valton wants us to ask, for the more inquisitive we are the more contemplative we become, and soon we are exploring the forms, lines, and tones and how they work together. Valton intentionally dramatizes the setting with heavy Baroque curtains and dark porthole to draw us into the design. "I want people to stand back away from my prints and stare in the imaginative way that I do." This is the power of the timeless nature of Valton's art." (Reynolds, p.50) Paper size: 15 x 11 1/2 inches Edition: 5 Artists Proofs Imp. 50 Signed Prints Imp. Bibliography: Edward M. Gomez, "Futuristic Forms Frolic Under Eerie Texan Skies," The New York Times, June 13, 2000, page B2. Edward M. Gomez, "Valton Tyler's Techno-Organic Landscapes," Raw Vision 35, Summer 2001, pages 34-39. Rebecca Reynolds, "The First Fifty Prints: Valton Tyler," published for Valley House Gallery by Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas, Texas, 1972.

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