534 W 21st Street
NEW YORK – Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of important works by David Novros created in the 1970s. The exhibition will be the artist’s first one-person show with the gallery since 2009 and will include several large-scale paintings as well as works on paper. The show will be on view at 534 West 21st Street from April 27 through June 2, 2017. There will be an opening reception from 6 to 8 pm on Thursday, April 27.
An original member of Park Place, the historic New York artists’ collective, Novros is known for his large, abstract paintings on irregularly shaped, multipartite canvases. Inspired by Paleolithic cave paintings, Byzantine mosaics, Italian frescoes, and other in situ artworks from across Europe, Novros sought to create work that pushed beyond internal pictorial space to engage its architectural context. Comprised of juxtaposed modular panels, his paintings encompass open areas of wall that create an interplay of positive and negative space. The totality of their composition emerges as a syncopated progression of rectangles and squares that both includes and defines its environment.
Extending over twenty-five feet in length, Novros’s monumental Lent Painting (1975) is composed of ten panels whose precise placement begets an immersive and expansive optical vitality. As Novros describes, “my strategies came by way of making shapes that would move along a wall, and allow a viewer to … [have] a kinesthetic experience.”1 The painting’s seductive chromatic and tonal gradations similarly captivate the viewer’s eye, building a lyrical balance that is entwined with its architectural setting. Also on view, the two-panel painting Untitled (1975) employs a pair of right angles, each with the slight remainder of a bottom edge to suggest the completion of a rectangle. The form is characteristic to Novros’s work, which affirmed the right angle’s expressive qualities and architectural fundamentality.
David Novros was born in 1941 in Los Angeles, CA, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California in 1963. His work was first exhibited in a two-person show with Mark di Suvero in 1965 at the Park Place Gallery in New York. Novros had his first one-person shows at Park Place Gallery and Dwan Gallery the following year. His work has been exhibited in prominent venues, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Dallas; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Bremen Museum of Modern Art, Bremen, Germany. Novros was the subject of a one-person show, Contemporary Conversations: David Novros and The Menil Collection, in 2006. The show was part of a series of exhibitions that continues to celebrate living artists whose works are in the Menil’s permanent collection. The Museum Wiesbaden in Wiesbaden, Germany, presented a one-person exhibit of Novros’s work in 2013. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.
Oral history interview with David Novros, conducted by Michael Brennan for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution at the Artist’s home in New York, NY, October 22 and 27, 2008 ↩