Since the early 1990s, Dan Walsh has developed painted artworks that etch the fragility of movement in a modernist and geometric vein. His compositions are free hand paintings that transgress the objective purity of minimalism. His paintings forms, colors, and even the manner they’re hung, are often atmospheric in nature.
Situated behind an arrangement of colored stones forming curved lines and round angles, his paintings produce a sensation of floating and a strange delicateness.
These six canvases shown here rely on the elementary form of the grid. It is the structural apparatus at the heart of this group of artworks. After all, painting is the medium that allows the mechanisms of expression and perception to play off one another. Through the abstraction and the simplification of forms, each painting corresponds to a certain resonance or a table of potential elements, similar to the Tibetan Mandalas: this allows the painting to snatch the spectator’s attention and influence his reflection. For Dan Walsh, painting is a pertinent medium, “as long as it is a means for an individual to make sense of the world, and the commitment it requires is shared with the public.” Therefore the painting is not simply a critical tool. Above all else, it symbolizes the place where we can explore and question mechanisms of perception.
Primarily non-narrative, Dan Walsh’s paintings don’t forbid fictional links with what’s real, the atmosphere, personal memories, or analogies investigating the dominant effect of screens that reframe and structure our everyday vision. Above all else, they draw on the tensions present the instant our gaze touches them, like a gentle hysteria bubbling on the surface. A very accomplished colorist, Dan Walsh explores the chromatic levels without limits, moving from a neutral grey to the combination and superposition of incredibly lyric and often surprising colors. The light texture of acrylic paint allows him to affix a gentle touch that simultaneously expresses a line and faint mark. He reveals to the spectator a double layer of meanings that balance the painstakingly slow process of reconstituting the surface and understanding the work in its totality. By displaying his canvas near the floor, Dan Walsh kindles empathy in the spectator, allowing him to feel its weight, pulse, harmonics, and tension, through the chromatic and geometric vibrations.
When faced with Dan Walsh’s paintings, the spectator’s gaze lingers on the temporal fragments of colored brushstrokes that reveal an integral, interior world of spirituality and movement.