Oil and alkyd on polyester
140 x 40 inches
Courtesy Max Protetch Gallery, New York
David Reed's art cannot be discussed without a reference to the legacy of abstract painting in the United States and the supreme example of Abstract Expressionism. At the same time, his work invokes the historic artistic styles of Baroque and Mannerism. The artist has likened his markings to the billowing cloaks that cover figures in baroque painting. Yet Reed firmly believes any art movement has to be radically re-invented to be relevant to the present.
Commenting on his use of light, Reed said, "During the Renaissance and Baroque periods they had a wonderful religious light that came from above. Today we have a technological light, the light of a TV, movie screen, or computer monitor, which is directionless and increases the intensity of every color."
In addition to its unexpectedly lush tones and Technicolor palette, the voluptuous, polished surface of a work such as #563 is achieved by using transparent layers of paint and various glazes. The illusional effect appears almost photographic or cinematic, in which sharply defined areas are juxtaposed with blurred or out-of-focus segments. The intensity of Reed's elongated canvas is reinforced by his deep understanding of contemporary color and light combined with his virtuoso handling of paint.