"We are used to observing ourselves from both inside and outside our bodies simultaneously. Baroque painting dealt with these out-of-body sensations as religious experiences, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes terrifying; today we live such experiences, often unexamined, through images on screens, as a part of our everyday lives."
Gagosian is pleased to present David Reed’s first exhibition of new work with the gallery, following Painting Paintings (David Reed) 1975, a presentation of his early brushmark paintings curated by Katy Siegel and Christopher Wool at Gagosian New York in 2017.
Since the outset of his career, Reed’s central preoccupation has been to challenge and reinvent how to make a painting. Consistently, his paintings present a compelling tension between the gestural and the impersonal; in recent times this has been characterized by fluid, torquing, extended marks that reveal the viscosity of paint and the speed of color and light in a flattened manner that looks photographic or filmic.
When Reed came to New York from Southern California in the 1960s, he entered an art scene skeptical about painting’s ability to be progressive. The young artist sympathized with the humanist, even metaphysical impulse in the work of painters such as his teachers Philip Guston and Milton Resnick, even as he admired the deadpan materiality of contemporaneous conceptual experiments in sculpture and film. Seeking to make paintings that were as direct as a poured steel sculpture, between 1974 and 1975 he prepared tall vertical canvases, either as single panels or as several panels bolted together; their height was determined by the door to his studio, their width by the limits of his own reach. Working wet into wet, Reed painted primarily black or red strokes from left to right, top to bottom, and sometimes diagonally, quickly filling the canvas.