David Reed: Krefeld Miami New York / Häusler Contemporary Zürich

Häusler Contemporary in Zürich just opened a new solo exhibition with works by the American painter David Reed. Titled “Krefeld Miami New York” the show features paintings that refer to the mentioned cities. The gallery presents works that David Reed created for exhibitions at Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld (Germany), Pérez Art Museum in Miami (USA), and which are inseparable linked to New York where he has lived and worked since 1970. The exhibition “David Reed: Krefeld Miami New York” runs until June 2, 2023.

David Reed is an American abstract painter who was born in San Diego, California, in 1946. He is known for his large-scale, gestural paintings that explore the possibilities of color and mark-making. Reed began his career in the 1970s, during the heyday of Minimalism and Conceptual Art, but he quickly developed his own style, which emphasized the physical act of painting and the expressive potential of abstraction.

Reed’s work is characterized by its fluidity and dynamism, as well as its interest in the relationship between image and surface. His paintings often feature sinuous, calligraphic lines that seem to float across the canvas, creating a sense of movement and energy. Reed has exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe, and his work is included in the collections of many major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

David Reed: Krefeld Miami New York / Häusler Contemporary Zürich. March 30, 2023.

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Press text (excerpt):

Häusler Contemporary Zurich is pleased to present a solo exhibition by American painter David Reed anew. The cities of Krefeld, Miami, and New York play a significant role in the artist’s oeuvre as places of origin or the presentation of striking series, and are the focus of our show of selected works. Highlights are the latest works from David Reed’s Studio.

David Reed (*1946, San Diego, US, lives in New York, US) is currently one of the most important representatives of abstract painting. Through extremely elongated picture formats and time-consuming, multi-stage work steps, he explores the potential of a classical medium in an age of multimedia. Against the backdrop of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Pop Art, a preoccupation with Renaissance and Baroque painting, and inspired by a passion for film, Reed has been shaping his singular style since the 1970s. The characteristics of Reed’s artistic language since the 1980s are powerful gestures set in colored layers, whose multiple superimpositions lend the motifs magical depth. The preferred extreme landscape format offers the artist space to modulate the dynamics of painting through applied color and material accents and to position the motifs in a quasi-film sequence.

For the exhibition «The Mirror and the Pool» 2015 at Museum Haus Lange Krefeld, David Reed interacted with the architecture of the Mies van der Rohe and conceived an impressive site-specific installation by placing his works through the rooms seemingly as an endless image, strung together like a frieze, thus inviting a kind of cinematographic viewing.
We will present «#641» (2003-2015 and 1975-2015, respectively), three significant works from this series of fourteen canvases. Their deep dark purples and magenta tones are particularly evocative. For the first time, Reed employs stencils in these paintings, some of which he used to integrate painterly gestures out of works from the 1970s. Conceived as part of a circulating series at Museum Haus Lange, the three identically sized works «#641» in our exhibition relate to each other and express individual formal characteristics.

«David Reed: Vice and Reflection – An Old Painting, New Paintings and Animations» 2016 was the title of the exhibition at the Pérez Art Museum Miami in 2016, for which the artist created a new series of works inspired by a painting titled «#212 (Vice)» from 1984-1985. Here, the highly saturated blues and yellows reflect the colors of 1980s popular culture, like in the television series Miami Vice. Reed created a reflection of this earlier painting for Miami in the form of new large-scale work that also references the scale and proportions of the museum gallery’s architecture. With «#661», 2003-2013/ 2016 and «#659», 1975/ 1996-2000/ 2007-2011/ 2014-2015/ 2015-2016/2016 we are presenting striking works from this series. As relevant testimony in the artist’s creative process, the meticulous «Working Drawings» and «Color Studies» accompanying the large-scale works document the artist’s thought and work stages. A significant complex of works on paper and selected studies invite visitors to retrace this process in the gallery.

David Reed, although raised on the West Coast, is inextricably linked to New York, where he has lived and worked since 1970. In search of a singular artistic expression, he created narrow vertical canvases between 1974 and 1975 using rapidly placed broad horizontal brushstrokes. «Wet on wet», Reed subsequently painted mainly black or red «Brushstrokes» from left to right, sometimes diagonally. Since the «Brushstroke Paintings» of the 1970s, he has repeatedly taken up this pictorial element and developed it into an essential instrument of his painting, as the more recent «Verticals» «#732-2», 2020 or «#742», 2020-2021 impressively demonstrate. Contrasting with these shades of gray or black are the latest paintings «#773», 2020-2023 and «#774», 2019-2023, from Reed’s studio, for which he chose a color palette of vibrant yellows, reds and blues. David Reed challenges the viewer to explore different facets and shades of color and to discover minimally divergent gradations, color temperatures, and undertones. These intense contradictions account for Reed’s great appeal and emotional impact.
The selected works in our exhibition illustrate how David Reed condenses his vocabulary, which has grown over the years, and has connected the three cities into multi-layered, abstract narratives. His work deals with the history and present of painting as a medium, in conjunction with the change in our perception in the digital age coupled with new emotional conditions.

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