Artist Spotlight

August 21, 2023

Cecil Touchon

William Campbell Gallery is pleased to spotlight the work of the esteemed gallery artist, Cecil Touchon. Cecil began showing his work with the gallery in 1985. The gallery is thrilled to announce that Cecil is creating an entirely new body of work for his upcoming exhibition to open at 4935 Byers Ave on November 16, 2023, and will run through the end of the year.

Cecil Touchon’s primary exploration of paintings and works on paper is based on collage. His series of paintings are called Post Dogmatic Paintings or PDP. The works on paper include a number of series: Asemic Writing, Typographic Abstractions, Nostalgic Regress, and Iberian Variations. It is within these series that Cecil feels he can let his mind go and let his creative side freely guide the vision, layout, and color of his works.

The Post Dogmatist Paintings start with the prefix PDP and then followed by a number which is the sequential number of the painting in this long-standing series of works. The numbering system began in the 1980s and Touchon has maintained it throughout his career since that time. The paintings shown here are all in the typographic abstraction style using collages from the Fusion Series as studies or as Touchon says, as scores, in the Fluxus sense of the term.

The works on paper contain many series in his body of work. The Typographic Abstraction series of collages by Cecil Touchon are made by chopping of letters and using the elements to create new abstract forms as a kind of concrete poetry. These sub-literal poems reduce the letters to geometric forms that are recombined into an archetypal composition that encourages a reading that is truly concrete, releasing the letters from their work of representing a complex linguistic network. This allows the viewer to enjoy the language without the burden of speech.

The Nostalgic Regress series Cecil explains that he “has often worked with collage using found antique and vintage papers. In this series of works the compositions depend on the patinas, printed matter, stains, writing, scribbles, textures and local color of the old sheets found in books, ephemera, street posters and other found materials.”

Another series of work called the Iberian Variations first began in the mid-1980’s. The name Iberian is derived from a painting by Robert Motherwell called Iberia. Touchon wanted to explore the Abstract Expressionist idea of gestural painting combined with collage and so devised a way to create prepared papers to disassemble and reconstruct into what he calls the ‘constructed gesture’. This technique allows Touchon to mark on paper without concern for the results and then use the material to then carefully construct an image out of the chopped up parts and gives a certain amount of control over the finished work. This allows chance and serendipitous discovery to play a part in the final work.

Cecil received his BFA at the University of Texas at Arlington. He went on to North Texas State University in Denton and St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, St. Louis, MO. He began his fine art career exhibiting his work in 1984 and has shown in over 51 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions. His work can be found in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York NY; the MoMA Library; Museu Brasileiro da Escultura, San Paulo, Brazil; Studio One, New York, NY; Fogg Museum of Art Archive, Cambridge, MA; Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL; and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA to name a few.

Please visit the Artsy Page here for available works by Cecil Touchon. Also, please stop by 4935 Byers to view his outstanding paintings and works on paper.