For Dan Walsh, painting is a relevant 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”. For the artist, painting no longer functions as a simple critical tool, but rather becomes a site for the mechanisms of perception.
The artist’s first paintings presented empty frames traced by hand, in black or yellow, which acted as windows opening onto the white of the canvas. The spectator was then confronted by a subject-less image, and found himself harshly returned to the condition of an observer. Rather quickly, Walsh developed his technique and now makes paintings with systematically intrinsic successions – that is, paintings within a painting, frames within a frame. The compositions compile different colored rectangles onto one surface, and thus explicitly recall the artist’s older works. The spectator is then left the task of deciphering the works’ multiple levels of interpretation, which allow the painting to be read as a wall, but also the wall as a painting. The artist’s recent paintings therefore frequently explore the link they establish between the spectator, the work of art, and the surrounding architectural space.
For his exhibition at Galerie Xippas, Dan Walsh will present 8 large acrylic canvases, painted in vibrant color, which consist of abstract and minimal compositions. In these, he utilizes an alphabet composed of simple geometric figures such as squares, rectangles, and lines, between which a dialogue has been initiated. The artist validates this geometry with our contemporary environment: it is drawn from cities, and their perpendicular streets, architecture, pixilated images, techniques of mechanical reproduction…
Often atmospheric in their form, color, or hanging, Dan Walsh’s geometric compositions elucidate the intentions of the artist, in allowing the creation of “a visible arena to renew access to the image”. Behind arrangements of colored tiles in which contoured lines and rounded angles produce a strange elegance, the work of Dan Walsh is primarily centered upon perception.
Dan Walsh was born in 1960 in Philadelphia; He lives and works in New York. He studied at the Philadelphia College of Art and at Hunter College in New York. He is represented by the Paula Cooper Gallery in New York. His work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums in Europe and in the USA, with recent solo exhibitions at the Centre d’Art Contemporain de la Synagogue de Delme (France), the Biennale Ljublijana (Slovenia), the Cabinet des Estampes du Musée d’Art et D’Histoire / Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Genève (Switzerland), and the Indianapolis Museum of Art (USA). In 2003, he participated in the Biennale d’Art Contemporain in Lyon (France).