Robert Goldsmith at Alexander/Heath Contemporary Roanoke Virginia

Alexander/Heath Contemporary

“Angles of Repose”
an exhibition of painter
Robert Goldsmith
March 6 through June 26, 2020


Opening Reception:
Art-by-Night Friday,
March 6th, 6 to 10 pm

Refreshments / Music / Parking Map
Gallery located at Campbell Ave SW and 5th Street
(Enter on 5th Street between Campbell Ave SW and Rorer Street)

Cell: Edward Hettig, 607.226.2473
Contact via Email:

Images from the Opening, on March 6th, 2020

Artist’s Statements

My grandmother said that as a toddler I was fascinated by a shiny object on their den table. It was a small, hand-held brass telescope. I kept picking it up not knowing what it was but peering through it with delight. Apparently I did so for hours on end. Trouble was, as she later told me, I was looking through the wrong end!

Or was I? It is a question I ask myself now.

Years later, as a child of six, I got in the habit of creating six by six inch quadrants in varying sections of my front yard. I spent many a Saturday on my knees focusing squarely on the particulars dwelling in such a small yet large world. There were angled blades of grass of differing shades of green, veiny bits of porous leaves that seemed to be telling a story, spongy soft twig parts, patterned lines and nodes on pale rubble, and parades of traipsing insects.

Episodes such as these and their lessons were early preludes to valuing the importance of sight and the place of wonder.

A favorite professor of mine once wrote: “Wonder, not fact, is the matrix of faith…a world devoid of wonder is frightening because it is godless.”

In painting, I try to be as personal as I can be, letting the essence and direction of the content and pattern emerge from within. I do trusting that what is deeply personal at some point touches upon and gives expression to that which is deeply universal.

In each expression I seek to evoke wonder and draw the viewers’ attention toward the primal, universal element present though often hidden in the ordinary, everyday realm.

Angles of Repose

In physics, “The Angle of Repose” is a technical term referring to inherent parameters and the steepest angle at which any material can be held in ordered balance.

The angle of repose is where tension and rest, and struggle and cooperation are complementary parts of a whole.

This same reality is present and active in artistic creativity as well. The point of equilibrium that is the fruit of rest and unrest impacts art, the artist, and the artistic process. Here, where human choice and will are involved, worlds of values are constantly up for grabs. Great themes — truth and falsehood, struggle and resolution, entropy and recovery, chaos and harmony, exile and return, death and resurrection, disorder and unity — blend and vie for controlling ownership.

The works in this show are on the resting edge of a particular “slide”; angles of material that have emerged into existence from a mysterious place of innocence and experience. They are a plunge into the marrow we all possess; momentary expressions of the pull of transcendence from a participant perched on the rugged, creative ledge of the present. I hope they bring a word of encouragement to the universe and a word of promise to participants in life’s meaning and purpose.

Robert Goldsmith / January 2020 / Website