Saturday, March 24, 2012

David Collins

Untitled Tondo - 2011 - acrylic and paper on wood
My repost art review for a show in September 2011

Rich in tradition, David Collins exhibition "Clearstory" fits perfectly in Valley House Gallery. Like most artists shown at Valley House, David Collins strikes the perfectbalance of being rooted in the past, while making important innovations andmeasured experiments without having to go far afield. Valley House Galleryrepresents established and emerging contemporary artists working in traditionalmedia and is firmly linked to 19th and early 20th century American and European paintings.

David Collins says his work is about memory, but I see a lot of history here as well. Collins paintings give you an overview of modern art in just one painting. The work is abstract, minimalist like muted colors, cubist/futurist like shapes, flat, but playing with dimensionality. Collins further connects through his reference of collage and architectural objects. References to point perspective help to trace connections from work made over 500 years ago.

History of art is an important aspect of David Collins work, but he is not stuck or just repeating the past. Collins also makes some important but subtle innovations. You have to get close to the surface of this work to see the light lines that seem to refer to architecture or core design elements. Some of the implied lines will fall back in space and other times just stop you in your tracks. This makes for more of a musical piece feel that is fast in tempo and then has a jolting rests.

Displayed together, Collins’ round paintings complement each other very well. I don’t know if the curator or artist decided to exhibit these pieces stacked horizontally three in a row, but it really works to create a good dialog between the smaller works. In fact, the show itself is curated to inspire silent conversation between paintings.
For more pictures of the artist's work go to

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