Oil on Canvas
30 x 36 in.
Listing no. 745
Oil on Canvas
30 x 36 in.
Listing no. 700
Oil on Canvas
31.75 x 37 in.
Listing no. 674
About this Artist
We're All Here: The work of Valton Tyler
by Kim Alexander, March 2000
The great collector Albert C. Barnes once wrote: "A painter's worth is determined precisely by his ability to make the fusion of plastic means forceful, individual, characteristic of his own personality". For Barnes, this plastic means summed up the elements of painting which convey image, and their fusion amounted to a unique and affecting consummation of color, line, light, and space. He used the word plastic to emphasize the artist's potential for distorting and changing his particular interpretation of an image on the canvas. This approach to art formed the aesthetic foundation for one of the most intelligent collections of paintings in the world, and it also posits the importance of Valton Tyler's work today (Barnes 55).
The spine of Barnes's aesthetic, which accounts for his luminous collection, is his requirement that a painting's parts be integrated into an indissoluble whole, which voices the unique hand of the artist. For this reason, Valton Tyler's work stands alongside the work of Rousseau, Gauguin, and Chirico, as an instinctively masterful exploitation of the formal elements of art. Tyler constructs dynamic compositions which are not merely defined by the distribution of shape and mass in the painting. He fuses color, line, light and space so thoroughly that each element contributes necessarily to an animated composition which owns itself. In Permutation, for example, Tyler's use of lighting, the tensions of color, and the illusion of space engulf the spectator in the contained world of the painting (Tyler). Tyler's shapes insist on the spectator's participation, as every contour which catches the eye directs it to another shape, which in turn directs it to another shape. Try standing in front of a Tyler painting and ask permission from any shape to either stagnate, or leave the picture, and you will be denied. The force of this visual knot asserts the veracity of the world in the painting, and the perfect interplay of the parts arrests the viewer in that world. Every aspect of the painting powerfully contributes to this vigorous effect. The experience is similar to standing in front of a Rousseau and being transported out of time, but it is distinctly Tyler.
Experiencing a Valton Tyler painting tempts one to compare it to old acquaintances. This is to be expected. Anyone who meets an alluring and enigmatic person attempts to resolve the enigma by relying on familiar references. This temptation indicates the viewer's seduction, however, because Valton's voice is no patchwork from the past. A cursory look at Desert Shield, for example, brings a list of names to mind: Max Ernst, Hieronymus Bosch, Henri Rousseau, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro (Tyler). But when one attempts to seriously apply these references, the liveliness of Tyler's composition insists on its own unique and unassociated voice. Yes, voice. Desert Shield is an entity on its own terms, which the viewer must heed. One cannot passively view Desert Shield, one encounters it, perhaps even becoming acquainted with it, but it rises above the predictability or subordination of an object and meets the viewer on its own terms. The forms morph, perspectives shift, the depth vacillates, the organic shapes emote, and the painting, contained by the force of its own composition, refuses to be contained by the viewer. Each painting is an untamed event.
This vivacious nature of Tyler's work inspires the impression of a world in each painting. Certainly, Tyler builds a convincing depth and space, but these paintings do not just depict another world, they are another world. The tension inherent in the composition, the shifting perspectives, the dynamic line, all convince us that the forms in the painting stopped moving just before we looked. In fact, the positioning of the forms intimates movement so that the frozen moment which we observe seems arbitrarily still. It threatens to shift again when we turn our backs, and so we take the dare. We turn and then sneak another glance, and sure enough, something has shifted. Maybe what appeared round before is now flat, or what once leaped out of the picture plane now recedes, but a new event, a nimble world revises itself. The painting refuses to submit to our predispositions, and we must attend to those foreign laws of nature in the world of the picture. Somewhere inside of it life pulses independently, and perfect composition remains the only constant.
Tyler's fusion of plastic means is so coherent and full of necessity that each painting contains a life force of interacting elements, but it is also radically signatory. Tyler's line, composition, color, use of space--every element which contributes to the personality of his pictures, also testifies to the unique hand of Valton Tyler. Tyler's dynamic line especially marks out a recognizable autograph. Ultimately, however, Tyler's creations address his own urges and questions with such a naked intimacy that he inhabits every picture. Tyler's comment on We're All Here (3) emphasizes his attachment to the results of his pictures:
These forms are a family gathering talking and having a good time.
Adults and children are gossiping and sharing their news. The
fluttering objects could be their conversation...The structures have
doors and windows that could suggest eyes and mouths, but you
are to go in the buildings and walk around them. (Reynolds 124) Clearly Tyler visits the landscapes which he constructs, and their reality is palpable to him. His fascination with the independent world inside the picture attunes him to the tensions which give his pictures life. Because Tyler creates a world which convinces himself, his pictures, in turn, express his complex nature. Each painting is a vortex of independent life, and each answers Tyler's drive to find another world. The credibility of the world inside of his pictures and their strong sculptural feeling particularly suit Tyler's appetite so that each painting characterizes the distinction of Valton Tyler himself.
Tyler's propensity to create a sense of independent space and vitality elevates his pictures out of the realm of predictability. In order for his pictures to have the Tyler-mark of an independent world, they must act on their own accord. They must intimate an interior life of their own. Of Still Life (4) he says
Apples are cut in two because the peelings do not want to hide the
beauty of their interiors. The portholes create a contrast. They
suggest the inside environments of the objects. This is important.
All of my structures are aware of their inside worlds. (Reynolds 60) Every element of a Tyler picture testifies to the interior consciousness of that picture. In fact, Tyler's drive to create an independent world impels his most subliminal expressions to assert the painting's autonomy. Tyler paints with intense honesty, out of an intimate impulse, so that his pictures bear the unique mark of his inner workings, as well as his hand. This makes his paintings complex, substantial, and authentically human.
(1) Tyler, Valton. Permutation. c. 1974 Collection of Valley House Gallery.
(2) Tyler, Valton. Desert Shield. c. 1990 Collection of Valley House
(3) Tyler, Valton. We're All Here. Line etching. Reynolds, p. 124.
(4) Tyler, Valton. Still Life. Line Etching. Reynolds, p. 60.
Barnes, Albert C. The Art in Painting. New York: Hartcourt, Brace and Co.,
Reynolds, Rebecca. Valton Tyler. Richardson, Texas: Valley House
Born: 1944, Texas City, Texas
Died: 2017, Dallas, Texas
Education: Self taught
1971 Completion of the first fifty plates. SMU scheduled his first one man show for February, 1972. In June, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, held a one man show.
1970 Through his older brother, Valton met Donald Vogel, who introduced his work to Laurence Scholder and Dr. William Jordan, making it possible for him to work with the facilities of the Department of Printmaking at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Prior to 1970 Valton had never worked with the printmaking techniques. It was in March of this year that he worked and completed his first plates and pulled the first etchings.
1967 Received the G.E.D. (General Education Diploma). For six months he attended the Dallas Art Institute in Dallas; however, he took very little interest in the school’s program as the emphasis was on commercial art.
1964-67 Worked part-time with hand-embossing and layouts for an engraving company; acquired experience in working with blueprinting machines.
1961 Attended Crozier Technical High School
1959 Family moved to Tyler, Texas where he attended high school
2015 Beyond the Academy: Contemporary Outsider and Expressionist Art, The Cole Art Center, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas
2015 Dallas Art Fair, Fashion Industry Gallery, Dallas, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
2014 60th Anniversary Exhibition: A Celebration of Valley House Artists, group exhibition, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2014 MAC@20 Part I, group exhibition, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, Texas
2014 Donald S. Vogel and the Artists He Championed, group exhibition, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2014 Dallas Art Fair, Fashion Industry Gallery, Dallas, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
2014 Great Escapes: Group Show Featuring 12 Artists, Barry Whistler Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2013 Suitable Subjects: Contemporary Still Lifes, The Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas
2011 Art + Advocacy, auction for Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Fashion Industry Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2011 Dallas Art Fair, Fashion Industry Gallery, Dallas, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
2010 Valton Tyler and Miguel Zapata: Beauty and Power, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, Texas
2010 Channeling Other Worlds: Contrasting paintings, drawings, and prints by Dallas artist Valton Tyler with Tribal Works from around the World, a collaborative exhibition between Valley House Gallery and Shango Galleries, Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Dallas, Texas
2009 Art + Advocacy, auction for Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Three Three Three First Avenue, Dallas, Texas
2009 Wish! Auction, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, Dallas, Texas
2009 Thank You Fort Worth: An Appreciation from Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden, Group Exhibition, Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Fort Worth, Texas
2008 College Art Association’s 96th Annual Conference, Adam’s Mark Hotel, Dallas, Texas
2007 CADD Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas Inaugural Art Fair, Three Three Three First Avenue, Dallas, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
2005 Valley House Exhibition, Masur Museum, Monroe, Louisiana
2005 Introductions, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2004 Art Chicago, art fair, Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois (Valley House Gallery)
2004 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2002 Valton Tyler: Exuberant Color, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York
2002 Other Sights: Renzo Barchi, Lynn Randolph, Valton Tyler, O’Kane Gallery, University of Houston, Downtown, Houston, Texas
2002 Beyond the Apple & Bottle: Still Life Invitational, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
2001 Folk Fest, Art Fair, Atlanta, GA. (Valley House Gallery)
2001 One Person Show, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York
2001 Hands Across the Sea, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York, New York
2001 Outsider Art Fair 2001, Puck Building, New York (Phyllis Kind Gallery)
2000 The Art Show, art fair, ADAA, 7th Regiment Armory, New York (Valley House Gallery)
2000 Valton Tyler Visionary Landscapes, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, one person show, curated by Murray Smither, Dallas, Texas
1999 The Art Show, art fair, ADAA, 7th Regiment Armory, New York (Valley House Gallery)
1998 Fantasy Machines and Landscapes, two person show with Bob Nunn, The Meadows Gallery, The Center for the Visual Arts, Denton, Texas, curated by Paul Rogers Harris
1997 Texas Natural Wonders, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
1996 Wind In My Hair, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
1996 Art Miami, art fair, Miami Beach Convention Center, Florida (Valley House Gallery)
1994 The Art Show, art fair, ADAA, 7th Regiment Armory, New York (Valley House Gallery)
1994 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas, Motor Scooter
1994 ARTexas 94, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
1994 Outside: In, Outsider and Contemporary Artists in Texas, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX, curators: Murray Smither and Jim Edwards
1993 ARTexas 93, Dallas Convention Center, Dallas, Texas (Valley House Gallery)
1993 The Art Show, art fair, ADAA, 7th Regiment Armory, New York (Valley House Gallery)
1993 Texas Art Celebration '93, Assistance League of Houston, Cullen Center, Houston, Texas, juried by David A. Ross, Director, Whitney Museum of American Art, Rational Forest
1992 Texas Galleries, art fair, Infomart, Dallas, TX (Valley House Gallery)
1992 The Art Show, Art Dealers Association of America, 7th Regiment Armory, New York (Valley House Gallery)
1992 Recent Works By:, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas
1991 House, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas
1988 Zoomorphism: Animals in Art, LTV Center, Dallas, Texas, curated by Paul Rogers Harris
1988 Valley House Gallery (two person show), Dallas, Texas
1986 The Ties That Bind: Folk Art in Contemporary American Culture, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, November 21, 1986 to January 10, 1987, touring to Cranbook Academy of Art Museum, North Dakota Museum of Art, San Jose Museum of Art
1986 DW Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas, Selected Works 1978-1986
1985 Rosa Esman Gallery (one person show), New York City, New York
1983 Valley House Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1979 Valley House Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1978 Amarillo Art Center Association (one person show), Amarillo, Texas, Exhibition of 58 paintings, prints and drawings
1977 Valley House Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1977 Washington International Art Fair (one person show), Washington, D.C.
1977 Galerie Claude Jongen (one person show), Brussels, Belgium, Exhibition of 30 paintings
1976 Valley House Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1976 Washington International Art Fair (one person show), Washington, D.C.
1973 Oklahoma Young President's Organization, Inc. (one person show), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2005 O’Kane Gallery, (one person show) University of Houston, Houston, Texas
1975 Valley House Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1974 Oklahoma Art Center (one person show), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1974 Blaffer Gallery (one person show), University of Houston, Houston, Texas
1974 Charles B. Goddard Center (one person show), Ardmore, Oklahoma
1973 Philbrook (one person show), Tulsa, Oklahoma
1973 Cokesbury's Book Store (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1973 Allegheny College (one person show), Meadville, Pennsylvania
1973 San Antonio Art League (one person show), Belgian Pavillion
1972 Tyler Museum of Art (one person show), Tyler, Texas
1972 New Talent in Printmaking 1972, Associated American Artists (group show), New York, New York
1972 Pollock Galleries (one person show), Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
1971 Valley House Gallery (one person show), Dallas, Texas
1971 Gimpel-Weitzenhoffer Gallery (group show), New York City, New York
Amon Carter Museum of American Art Program, February/July 2016, "New to the Collection," pp. 8-9, ills.
Art & Antiques, May 2011, “Valton Tyler: Strange Fires,” by Edward Gomez.
The Brooklyn Rail, May 2011, “Valton Tyler’s Otherowrdly Art: Fron the Heart of Texas,” by Edward M. Gomez.
50th Anniversary Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas 2004, no. 11, Helping the Fear reproduced in color.
Raw Vision, Summer 2001, #35, “Valton Tyler’s Techno-Organic Landscapes,” by Edward M. Gomez, pp. 34-39, ills.
The New York Times, Tuesday, June 13, 2000, “Arts in America: Futuristic Forms Frolic Under Eerie Texas Skies,” by Edward M. Gomez, The Living Arts, page B2, ills.
Translation Review, Number Fifty-Eight, 1999, published by The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas, for the American Literary Translators Association, Space Eagles (1971, etching) reproduced on the cover
The Met, March 22, 2000 – March 29, 2000, “On View: Valton Tyler Visionary Landscapes,” by Killian Piraro, p. 30, ills.
Dallas Observer, March 9 - 15, 2000, “Magnificent obsession: The MAC serves up the contradictory visions of eccentric, self-taught artist Valton Tyler,” by Annabelle Massey Helber, p. 81, ills.
The Dallas Morning News, March 10, 2000, “Painter’s work all mixed up,” by Joel Weinstein, pp. 1C-2C, ills.
The Dallas Morning News Guide, February 25, 2000, “Quick Sketch: Valton Tyler,” by Mike Daniel, p. 56, ills.
Valton Tyler Visionary Landscapes, exhibition catalogue, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, February 2000, Dallas, Texas, essay by Phyllis Kind.
Entertainment Chronicle, Volume II, Number 34, April 30, 1998. ”Organic mechanics,” by Rachel Palmer, pp. 12-13, ills.
40th Anniversary Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas, 1994, no.16, Motor Scooter reproduced in color.
Outside:In, exhibition catalogue, Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, Texas, 1994, On the Edge of Landscape, reproduced in color.
The Ties That Bind: Folk Art in Contemporary American Culture, The Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, exhibition catalogue, 1986, checklist pg. 64-65, no. 115 and 155.
Dallas Morning News, November 18, 1989. "Road Crew," by Sophia Dembling, pp. 1C, 2C.
Dallas Times Herald, May 3, 1986. "A Most Colorful 'Outsider'; Valton Tyler gets deserved attention" by Bill Marvel, Art Critic, pp. 1E,4E, ills.
Arts Magazine, February, 1986. "Valton Tyler" by Joseph Teplow, p. 133, ills.
Ultra Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 4, December, 1981, "Valton Tyler" by Stephen Aechternacht, pp. 70-72, ills.
Mundus Artium: A Journal of International Literature and the Arts, Volume XI, Number 1, 1979, pp.24, 25, 52, 53, 90, 91, 6 illustrations.
The Work of Valton Tyler; Paintings of the Last Six Years, Eric Vogel, Valley House Gallery, 14 illustrations, 1979.
Art Voices/South, September/October, 1977, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Jalons et Actualites Des Arts, January, 1977, No. 30, Brussels, Belgium.
Interstate 5, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1976. Publication of Noumenon Foundation, Austin, Texas. The Dance reproduced in color.
Artes Visuales, July/September 1976, Chalultec, Mexico.
The First Fifty Prints of Valton Tyler, Rebecca Reynolds, published for Valley House Gallery by Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, Copyright 1972.
1989 One of four winners of the Gift of Art competition sponsored by Patrick Media Group of Dallas; billboards will be on display for 1 year around Dallas; $500 prize; jurors: James Chefchis, Pamela Nelson, and Gail Sachson.
1988 Art of the Metroplex, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, 2nd place, Mr. and Mrs. F. Howard Walsh award, $500 prize
American Airlines, Admirals Club, Dallas, Texas
Associated American Artists
Chas. B Goddard Center, Ardmore, Oklahoma
Lomas & Nettleton, Dallas, Texas
Museum of Arts and Science, Daytona Beach, Florida
Philbrook Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Art Center
San Antonio Art League, San Antonio, Texas
Seay Biomedical Building, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas
Univerity of Florida, Gainsville, Florida
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Oil on Canvas
24 x 29 in.
Listing no. 111