Sam Roth: The Stillness of Knowing

Sam Roth, Softness of Color, 24 X 36 inches, 2007.

Successful existence these days boils down to how we filter, process, and understand a constant barrage of information and images. If we are not fully in control of who we are, we will surely lose track of ourselves and our place in the world. Too easy is it to try on this facade or don that mask, or present a different self. We all say how much we despise social media, perhaps because it invites us to discard truth in favor of what we think others might like. On the hamster wheel of literal self-destruction and reconstruction, we become lost in the search for acceptance. But Sam Roth’s art provides the necessary antidote to this ill of modern society.

Sam Roth paints to reveal the inherent destiny of his chosen materials. Selecting, painting, scrubbing, wiping, washing, responding, erasing, and layering, Roth approaches the canvas as an equal partner in discovering their path toward their ultimate potential. As he responds to his own mark making with each layer of paint, Roth notes what the materials allow and disallow, and he respects the image as it comes into its truest expression. Similarly, the viewer must also treat the canvas as a trusted companion to embark on this existential journey.

Fully engaging with a Sam Roth painting requires the eyes and the soul to be open to both physical and meta-physical self-discovery. The viewer must cease trying to make sense of the image, as we art historians are prone to do, and instead allow the mind to wander and the vision relax. As the colors sharpen, soften, and shift in and out of focus, suddenly one finds the image in a different place from where it started. When one slows down and lets the process unfold, one realizes that the eye has just performed its most important function—to allow truth to enter the soul. It’s primordial. It’s biological. It’s meditative. The paintings invite the viewer to find their essence, and in so doing, they make room for that elusive calm that comes when understanding and truth are reached.

In a frenetic society laden with images, Roth’s paintings are slow-moving vessels of peace and internal reflection that invite us to return to the self, and to find the quiet of basking in the enough-ness of one’s own body, mind, and spirit.

Murray Hill Galleries
2026 Murray Hill
Cleveland, Ohio 44106


Sam Roth: The Stillness of Knowing, curated by Casey Monda Art Advisory, April 16–May 14, viewing by appointment only. Opening reception, 6-8pm Saturday, April 15 at Sam Roth’s studio, 2026 Murray Hill, Cleveland, OH 44106. Contact or