Thursday, July 19, 2001

J. David Smith - Munce Art Center - July 19, 2001 - 3 stars


Smith, associate dean of development for the Indiana School of Medicine, takes quality black and white photographs. His artist's statement says that he is inspired by "the ever changing forms and arrangements" of nature which are dissected
artistically by his camera. Local artists take note: This novice wrote a kick-butt, eloquent, well-written and understandable artist's statement. The series of photos on exhibit were all snapped during one walk in Zionsville after a memorably wicked snowstorm in 2000 - the cold miser undoubtedly being Smith's muse. The grandeur of neglected, tiny, fleeting beauty in nature takes center stage in tight compositions that make Mother Nature a Dada disciple. Ice and compacted fallen snow create natural artistic abstractions in "Ice Crystal," "Spider Ice" and "Holy Wall." There is nothing experimental or out of the ordinary with Smith's approach or technique. If I had to guess, I'd say he shot these with a trusty old Pentax K 1000. All of the shots are sharp, frozen, and perfectly exposed with studious exactitude - so much so that the f-stops and shutter speeds for each image could probably surmised as well. It is the care and honesty with which he captures his observations that make his photographs memorable. Through July 28, 2001. 317-873-6862. - Mary Lee Pappas

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