David Palmer "New Paintings"

Virgil de Voldère Gallery

poster for David Palmer "New Paintings"

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Virgil de Voldère Gallery presents its third solo exhibition of large-scale paintings by David Palmer. Rigorously exploring the single brushstroke-what could be called a hypergesture-Palmer's new works push the inner complexity of a form and process he has pursued since 2000.

Painters such as David Reed and James Nares have also tackled the legacy of the brushstroke in twentieth-century art, but what sets Palmer apart is that his singular movements are rendered perfectly, sharp as a satin ribbon, without extraneous drips, splashes, or splotches. This technique often fools viewers into thinking the images are photographic or digital in nature, but they're entirely handmade. Further, Palmer's interest in painting looks forward, perhaps more than it reflects on art history.

The artist's technique is simple and precise: he dips a twenty-one-inch-wide brush, not unlike a push broom, into a specially prepared mixture of blue acrylics and sweeps it across the white canvas in a wavering stroke. The swoops-one per canvas-often come from the mind's eye and are initially manifested improvisationally, but the final paintings are tested in advance as quick studies before being deliberately executed on the large surfaces.

The piercing blue color is highly evocative when set against a cool, neutral white. Because all the paintings use a 62-inch-square canvas, attention is drawn to the strokes themselves, which can suggest an infinite array of things, such as twisting balloon animals, fanciful clouds, or distorted inkblot halves. The viewer may try to make sense of Palmer's images in this way, but such interpretations aren't necessarily intended. Palmer says, "When my ideas begin to become suggestive of real-world objects I discard them. Unlike Jasper Johns, I tend to like things that 'did not' previously exist.



from April 16, 2009 to June 13, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-04-16 from 18:00 to 20:00


David Palmer

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