Shape Shifter

David Solomon’s new abstract paintings explore the mutable roles of shapes

Shapes in Santa Fe based artist David Solomon’s abstract paintings shift, change, and often repeat throughout his work. His new show at Patina Gallery, Shape Shifter (the second in Patina’s Drawn to the Wall series), is therefore aptly named.

“Shapes change roles,” Solomon says. “I’m inspired by quantum physics, where particles can act in different ways and operate in multiple spaces at one time.”

Several shapes that have appeared in Solomon’s work over the years are also present in his most recent paintings, such as a seed shape. Sometimes the seed pod transfers information from one point or shape in the painting to another; at other times it holds information inside itself or even functions 
as an eye. Another recurring shape, a black-and-white pyramid/triangle, will also appear spontaneously.

“Because I work intuitively, I never know what will happen, what shapes I will paint,” Solomon says. The artist paints on aluminum (which imparts luminosity to the finished work) using specially mixed pigments, and he creates texture by embedding powdered pigments into 
the paint. “Shapes evolve out of other shapes,” he adds. “My iconic shapes have evolved over time.”

Normally, Solomon works 
in medium and small size formats, but for this show he stepped outside his comfort zone, expanding to a few 4 x 5 foot paintings. “I’ve had to overcome the urge to paint smaller,” he says. “Part of it has had to do with feeling almost miserly about the paint. In my process, I’m constantly adding and taking away paint. It’s been interesting to use more.”

by Emily Van Cleve

David Solomon, Shape Shifter, July 11–August 24, reception July 11, 5–7:30 pm, Patina Gallery, 131 W Palace,

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