521 W 21st Street
NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent works by Dan Walsh. Created earlier this year for an exhibition at the Speerstra Foundation in Switzerland, this series of paintings will premiere in New York on October 12th at the gallery’s 521 West 21st Street location.
The series on view, entitled Cycle (2013) comprises eleven paintings in which Walsh translates specific referents into his own visual language. From Peruvian textiles and Russian icons to Pop art, Op art and Surrealism, Cycle presents a catalogue of wide-ranging cultural and historical sources, reconfigured through Walsh’s playful yet rigorous vocabulary. These affinities and influences provide experimental material for a deconstruction of the vocabulary of abstraction. Surprising and heterogeneous, though unified by the organizing structure of the grid, the paintings take Walsh’s work in new directions. The paintings evoke not only the history of painting but also make connections with graphic design, fabric patterns, architecture or Eastern spiritual art.
Since the 1990s, Walsh has traced a particular trajectory in painting, working from a pared-down repertoire of elemental forms—lines, grids, squares and rectangles—which he reorganizes within the visual field. Each painting becomes a stage for the viewer’s awakened perception or, in the artist’s words, “a theater of the perceptual act.” Our attention is drawn to concentric shapes, repeated or nested motifs, optical effects created by the overlay of translucent color strokes and modulated color fields, experienced at both retinal and psychological levels.
In the past 15 years, a large part of the artist’s activity has also revolved around artist books, which he often develops as a sequential format in which to break apart and re-assemble his own pictorial practice. Methodically repeated shapes, varying within a controlled set of parameters, allow the reader to delve into Walsh’s art in near-narrative form.
Walsh’s work is in public collections around the world, including the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It has been exhibited at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, the New Museum, New York, the Centre National d’Art Contemporain in Nice, la Synagogue de Delme, France, CCNOA (Art + Architecture) in Brussels, and the Kunstverein Medienturm, Graz. His prints and limited-edition books were the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Cabinet des Estampes in Geneva, Switzerland. He was also included in the Ljubljiana Biennial, Slovenia, and the Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, France (both 2003).