David Reed: Heart of Glass, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany

David Reed, #64, 1974
Oil on canvas
76 x 56 inches
Goetz Collection

June 28 – October 7, 2012

David Reed, born 1946 in San Diego and a resident of New York since the 1970s, has in his good forty creative years developed an oeuvre that, with all its concentration on specific forms of painting, also maintains relationships to other, more recent image media, especially to film and video art. The emotive power of film, especially its temporality, are qualities he seeks to capture in painting. This can be seen in his earliest works. In 1967 in the barren landscape of the American Southwest, he painted and drew the stations of a sunset, lending his tableaux almost ‘filmic’ qualities.

Stylistically his works draw on the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, but without its subjective pathos that refers back to the artist. Beginning with the Brushstroke Paintings of the 1970s— in which the ritualized gesture of paint application dramatizes the eternal return of the same—Reed bids farewell to the histrionic avowal of self-expression. Instead of the evocation of artistic authenticity, painting itself becomes the theme, whose rhythm, now for over twenty-five years, has been determined by the tranquil meandering of folds and color loops.

This no longer has anything to do with the eruptive expressivity of a Pollock. Reed’s painting relies on a temporal extension of the image processes that, in their ornamental self-referentiality, recall Richter’s ‘Inpaintings’ or paintflows more than Pollock’s action painting. Comparable to a self-operating painting act that, with Reed, does not end in l’art pour l’art. For his paintings want more than to merely please the eye. In a reversal of the perspectives of Abstract Expressionism, they directly address the effect on the viewer, who—as David Reed says—should be touched by abstraction’s innate expressive

Over 60 works by the artist will be shown that will illustrate exemplary the status quo of his painting before and after the millennium.