A series of new paintings by David Novros will be exhibited at Paula Cooper Gallery in the fall of 2023. Monumentally scaled to the gallery’s main location at 534 West 21st Street, the works each measure between thirteen and fifteen feet wide and are comprised of modular painted panels and large open areas of wall. Novros is known for his meticulous attention to the materiality of color, and his newest paintings radiate with exceedingly vibrant and deep complementary hues. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Ann Lauterbach.
A preeminent painter of his generation, in the 1960s Novros exhibited at the New York artists’ collective Park Place, Bykert Gallery in New York, and Dwan Gallery in New York and Los Angeles. The innovations Novros brought to painting––such as a repeated use of modular forms and a unique focus on the significance of permanent installation—were hugely influential, and the position he staked out in those years has been formative to his sixty-year practice. Of the utmost importance to Novros’s work is the active engagement of painting with architecture, an ideal which he observed in painted places such as the Alhambra in Grenada, Spain, during travels in Europe in 1963-64, and which left a huge impression on the young painter early in his career. Since then, Novros has produced painting that is in direct relationship with the surrounding architecture, such as site-specific murals. The first of these was a fresco commissioned by Donald Judd in 1971 for the second floor of his home and studio in SoHo, now the Judd Foundation.
The paintings that will be exhibited at Paula Cooper Gallery are part of an ongoing series of “portable murals” that cohere into a total painted environment. Each work is composed of tightly integrated irregularly shaped modular panels that enclose and define the supporting walls using interlocking rectangles and right-angles. Complex color relationships inform the rhythmic expansion of the forms into space, soliciting “an embodied, kinesthetic mode of spectatorship.” Three multicolored horizontal paintings will occupy the large gallery, with a single vertical work in the front room. This last painting boasts a refined palette of orange, green and white augmented with a reflective pigment that undergoes dramatic chromatic shifts, mimicking the surrounding walls from one angle and emitting a startling iridescence from another. The grand scale, complex forms and harmonious pigments of Novros’s paintings will be enlivened by the natural light flooding the gallery throughout the day, informing a poetic communion of color and space.
 Matthew L. Levy, “David Novros’s Painted Places” in David Novros, exh. cat. (Bielefeld: Kerber, 2014), p. 34