Daniel John Gadd “Falconry”

David & Schweitzer Contemporary

poster for Daniel John Gadd “Falconry”
[Image: Daniel John Gadd “Veil” (2017) oil, wax, string, metal leaf, and mirrored glass on wooden panel, 39 x 36 in.]

This event has ended.

DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary presents Falconry, a solo exhibition of new works by Daniel John Gadd.

Falconry (the hunting of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained bird of prey) is the title of 31-year-old Daniel John Gadd’s second one-person exhibition at DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary. In this body of work Gadd is both the Falcon and Falconer — a metaphor for the painter painting himself. The works endeavor to own and to appreciate the beauty of that which is wild within one’s self — learning to live with and mitigate the danger within. The work in this exhibition clearly places him among the most powerful, innovative and important abstraction artists working today.

Borne out of love of modernism and trained as figurative painter as were earliest abstract masters, Gadd is of a generation far enough removed from that rich history to embrace its past while reinventing and extending abstraction’s relevance and punch into the 21st century. He does this in part by reversing the chronology and historical sequences of ABEX and Cubism – adding an affinity for the use of non-traditional materials with Vernacular Artists.

Referencing aspects found in the work of American Masters such as Elizabeth Murray’s love of Cubism and shaped formats, Joan Snyder’s color sense and languid/free/fierce marking in the service of a personal story telling, Thornton Dial’s use of non-traditional deconstructed formats and materials, and James Castle’s painfully intimate poetic references to birds, Gadd invents a post-modern modernist mash-up that blurs the boundaries of painting and sculpture, abstraction and figuration, “high” and “low” art. This aesthetic is borne out of Gadd’s own life’s histories, his personal struggles, and triumph over them, through his love of family, and his love of the act of and history of painting. He creates work that runs the range of human emotion – violent, fragile, sensitive, fierce, vulnerable, and compassionate all at once. These works are deeply moving, and flat-out beautiful. Gadd’s is a wholly original voice, rarely heard from a painter this age.

The late brilliant curator Klaus Kertess once wrote:
“Art is a platform for experience, not a lesson. What is being proposed here is not a return to formalism but an art in which meaning is embedded in formal value. An acknowledgment of sensuousness is indispensable — whether as play or sheer joy or the kind of subversity that has us reaching for a rose and grabbing a thorn.”

Kertess was writing about what he believed made truly great art — and while he passed away before he ever saw Gadd’s work — these words eloquently describe the greatness found in this brilliant young painter.

Part of the founding principles of DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary, and its predecessor Life on Mars, is our belief that painting must look to its history to find its future. Our gratitude goes out to Jason Andrew (and his beautiful job curating this selection of Elizabeth Murray’s works) and to the Murray–Holman Family Trust and Pace Gallery for working with DAVID&SCHWEITZER Contemporary to exhibit her masterful works on paper by Elizabeth Murray in conjunction with our Daniel John Gadd exhibition. They have provided us the opportunity to fulfill that founding principle by showing the crucial, vital relationship between the American Master Murray and her continuing influence on one of the best of this generation, Daniel John Gadd.

— Michael David Painter/ Curator/Co-Director David and Schweitzer Contemporary 10 -10 -17



from November 03, 2017 to December 10, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-11-03 from 18:00 to 21:00

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