Invented Worlds of Valton Tyler

February 11, 2017April 30, 2017

“Within the frames are carefully rendered drawings of bizarre structures and creatures that defy description. The canvases explode with colors and shapes that curve and undulate in unimaginable ways. They are modern, abstract, surreal and boldly daring. And they are hanging at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.” –Fort Worth Star-Telegram

For more than forty years, Texas artist Valton Tyler (b. 1944) has depicted unparalleled worlds from his imagination. His captivating artworks feature unique interplays of identifiable, organic, mechanistic, and surreal shapes, which often rise from mountain, desert, or arctic landscapes. One of the only etching series he ever created, along with graphite drawings and large-scale paintings, are brought together for the first time in this rare exhibition of a local talent whose work defies artistic categorization.

Unconcerned with the perception of the art world, Tyler has always made art primarily for himself, “I must draw and paint,” he says, “If I don’t, I become depressed.” Born in Texas City on the Gulf Coast, Tyler turned to drawing as an emotional outlet during his troubled childhood. Although he never attended classes or received any formal training, he pursued his passion for art. By his twenties, he was offering drawings to friends and relatives in exchange for room and board. In 1970, Donald Vogel, founder of Valley House Gallery in Dallas, recognized Tyler’s talent and secured an opportunity for him to create etchings in the printmaking department at Southern Methodist University. He created an original series of more than fifty etchings, most of which are on view in this exhibition. With renewed confidence from his printmaking experiences, Tyler began painting his otherworldly places in a range of brilliant colors that enliven his unique forms. Today, the artist continues to sketch and paint at his current home in Garland, Texas. This exhibition is organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Large print labels are available for use in the exhibition.

Free tours of this exhibition take place Thursday through Sunday at 3 p.m. and begin at the exhibition entrance on the second floor. No reservations are required.

Visit the museum’s Research Library to learn more about Valton Tyler. The Library offers public hours on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.