David Richard Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Jay Davis, Peter Demos, Shirley Kaneda, Clarence Morgan, Matthew Penkala and Ben Weiner that explores abstraction through optical illusions. Three of the artists do so by exploiting photographic properties, while the other three focus on form and the illusions provided by color and surface texture.
The works of Davis, Penkala and Weiner manipulate various aspects of photography to create unique abstractions. Davis’ paintings contain representational elements that are nearly photo-real, but become abstracted as they are collaged in surreal, dream-like settings with psychedelic overlays. Penkala investigates the dynamic potential of static objects that are digitally derived from his camera and presented on the canvas with dispersed particles of paint to imitate pixels and bits of information. Weiner’s paintings are of beauty and food products photographed at such extreme close range to abstract them beyond the point of recognition.
Kaneda, Morgan and Demos explore abstraction through form, color and surface texture. Kaneda’s paintings are fluid and dynamic, creating vibrations through overlapping undulating forms and gradations of color. Morgan moves between painting and drawing, using form, line, repetition and systems to create multi-faceted abstractions. Demos creates optical effects with the greatest economy of means, manipulating rectangular panels with a simple palette of black, white and grey that appear to move into or out of the wall given their matte or glossy surface quality.
Davis has had over a dozen solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago and has participated in over 37 group exhibitions internationally, including the Prague Biennale. His work is included in the Saatchi Collection and he is a recipient of the 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting. Demos has exhibited with Deitch Studios and other galleries in New York, Chicago, Miami and Kansas City. Kaneda has exhibited in over 24 solo shows in New York, London, Paris, Miami, Chicago, Berlin, Sydney and Milan. Her work is in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art among other public collections. Morgan currently teaches painting in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, where he is professor and chair of the department. His work is included in the collections of the Cleveland Art Museum, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Art Institute. Penkala exhibits regularly in Los Angeles, Santa Fe and Detroit, and his work is in public and private collections. Weiner studied under Mexican muralist José Lazcarro and has worked closely with artists Jeff Koons, Kim Sooja and Amy Yoes as an assistant. He has exhibited in Los Angeles, New York, Puebla, Chicago, Miami and New Haven. His paintings can be found in the Sammlung Collection and Frederick R. Weisman Foundation Collection.