David Richard Gallery will present a career retrospective exhibition for Washington Color Painter, Paul Reed (American, b. 1919) that features paintings and drawings on canvas and paper as well as rare and never before seen artworks that span more than five decades. The exhibition, “Paul Reed, A Career Exploring Color and Visual Perception,” will be presented June 21 through July 27, 2013 with an opening reception on Friday, June 28 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the gallery located on 544 South Guadalupe Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, phone 505-983-9555 in the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District.
The exhibition explores Paul Reed’s painting career from the early 1960s through 2013. It includes his iconic stained and shaped canvases from the 1960s with compositions ranging from biomorphic forms to grids and zig-zag bands of color, as well as rarely shown works on paper that feature oil pastel drawings, gouache paintings and photo collages combined with painting and drawing. This will be the first major presentation of his single and multi-panel gouache paintings on paper from the early 1990s that combines a monotype process with gestural brush strokes and floating structures in rhythmic compositions that explore bold color combinations and optical effects and prefigure the “Platform” series painted in the 2000s. The exhibition also features Reed’s unstretched “Gilport” diptychs from the 1970s that investigate positive and negative space as well as his more recent transparent stain paintings on muslin that are hung unstretched like stained glass in the window.
Reed’s painting practice has always explored color and the interplay with surfaces and light to produce a range of translucent and transparent color experiences. This exhibition also maps another aspect of Reed’s career, his fascination with optical effects and visual perception that he explored in every phase and painting series and which is typically reserved only for Op Art artists. The photo collages also expose a rarely seen or appreciated Pop sensibility in Reed, that he uses for witty cultural and political critique.
Paul Reed is a native of Washington, D.C. and taught at the Corcoran School of Art. Reed’s professional debut was in a group show in 1958 at the Watkins Gallery, American University in Washington, D.C. His career was solidified following the 1965 exhibition, The Washington Color Painters, curated by Gerald Nordland at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art that featured Reed along with Gene Davis, Howard Mehring, Thomas Downing, Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis. Since then he has had numerous solo exhibitions and his artwork included in many group and museum exhibitions. Reed’s artwork is included in the permanent collections of many museums including: the Phillips Collection, National Gallery East, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, all in Washington, D.C., Detroit Institute of Art, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Dallas Museum of Art, High Museum of Art (Atlanta), San Francisco Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.