David Solomon at David Richard Contemporary
David Solomon’s super quirky paintings just got even better. Maybe it’s the new aerodynamic aluminum supports. Maybe this new plateau is just an inevitable result of dedication, action and praxis. Maybe his amorous world is on an upswing, or his heart has been dashed to the rocks. Whatever it is and for whatever reason, he’s in full swing, full steam ahead, and it all bodes well.
While Solomon’s paintings have long exhibited a disarming sense of vulnerability, plumbing strange depths and emo-spaces one isn’t used to seeing exposed, this time out they also have a new structural integrity and an interplay with volumetric illusion that wasn’t as evident in the flatter, more graphic pieces of the past. Indeed, the artist’s change of support to lightweight aluminum panels seems to be somewhat responsible for the success of the new, richer paint surfaces. Yet this technical shift can only count as catalyst, as Solomon’s paint handling has also become looser, more experimental, and more varied in application and mark than previously. He has gained a new sense of authority and a vaster range of colors and forms. The grand “holidays” upon the glazed aluminum surfaces that lend a slight iridescence to many of his abstract icons are as mystically appealing as any Byzantine gold leaf ground. Solomon continues to map inner territories of the imagination through an idiosyncratic synthesis of figurative inferences and abstract expression. A reoccurring blimp-like form, diagrammed in acid orange plays a prominent role in a few of the works here to great success, recalling certain mysterious shapes in the work of Terry Winters. Complications Arise, Beauty Persists employs this odd schematic football-fruit and more than lives up to it’s name. The form is echoed again in the spooky magnificence of Midnight Dreaming or Anti-Dream. With a similar commitment to surreal titles, Solomon primarily produces a bright, chromatic, update on the biomorphic automatism practiced by artists like Joan Miro and Hans Arp. The strength of these new works is a testament to David Solomon’s extremely open mind, fertile imagination, and new painterly power.
by Jon Carver