Walking into The
MAC was a completely surprising experience. I had
seen Chris Kysor's
work in the DCCA show last year, but I had never seen Bill Kysor's paintings.
And Bill's work is just like Bill: colorful, clever, assertive, open
yet mysterious, seemingly simple
I knew Bill to be a potter
because of his very fine one-man pottery department at St. Mark's
School of Texas. But I now know him as the powerful painter that
he has always been.
Kysor - Target
acrylic on canvas - 34 x 12
both sides, with ambient (left)
and daylight flash
Artist and one of Bill's
professors at UNT, James Allenbaugh, says that Bill's paintings are timeless.
Bill is a dedicated Art Teacher, and sometimes (a lot of the time)
being a full-time teacher and a producing artist don't mix. I
know this from personal experience.
Bill Kysor -
Hot Lips / Cool Lips, 1973
acrylic on canvas - 48 x 65
He was conspicuously
absent from the Texas
Mud show, and I shamelessly lobbied for him to be
in next one. So seeing this work from the 1960s and 70s gave
me a bittersweet poignant feeling. What if he hadn't got that
teaching position? ... But also, what if he had never become
Bill Kysor - Womb
acrylic on canvas - 50 x 70
Art teachers are responsible
for educating future art patrons as well as future artists. And
Dallas desperately needs educated art patrons who truly appreciate
art, not art's price tag.
Bill's grandfather was
an illustrator, and his mother painted landscapes. Now Chris
is looking for a full-time teaching position. Thank goodness
for the Kysors and all the art teachers in Dallas.- KDS
Kysor spoke at the MAC on February 5. About
25 people attended, despite cold and rain. First, the 30-year-old
son showed slides of decades old shaped
paintings by his father, Bill
and describing that body of work. That sequence stopped abruptly
What actually happened
is that Bill Kysor got a job at St. Marks School. The opportunity
was to begin a pottery department.
Bill, a painter who had
taken maybe one ceramics class ever, immersed himself in the
new form, which is much more easily understood -- indeed, grasped
-- by the Middle School students he would be teaching than painting.
Eventually, Bill Kysor
built what Kathy calls "an amazing department" and
became a remarkably good potter. Along the way, he quit painting.
Except, as he told me
before his son's formal presentation at The MAC, for painting
on ceramics, which he noted was much more subtle.
I'm sorry we didn't get
to see the sudden new direction the senior Kysor's creativity
took, either on the walls at The MAC or via slides in the Talk.
But now that I want to see more, I suspect I will get the chance.
Son Chris' slide talk
continued "decades later" with his own work. He showed
slides of his own progression of work, in which his father's
work played an important part.
I hadn't much appreciation
for Chris' work before he showed us how he got there. Now, I
want to see more of his earlier work. I was already amazed at
the senior Kysor's paintings. -JRC