“Shape Shifter” David Solomon

Shape Shifter, an exhibition of new paintings
July 11 – August 3, 2014
Artist Reception July 11, 5:00 – 7:30pmPatina Gallery
131 West Palace Ave.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

The second of the exhibitions, Shape Shifter, features the abstract, mystical paintings of David Solomon. Originally from Florida, Solomon attended San Francisco Art Institute and worked as a studio assistant to the painter Frank Lobdell and sculptor John Henry Waddell. Solomon explores color and form, loosely drawn and organic in places. The ocean, beach and nearby woods were his refuge growing up and many of his paintings bear the organic forms he found there. At times primitive and biomorphic, at others reduced and geometric, his paintings can differ greatly from each other. Some are dreamscapes of floating forms and warm, diffused palette while others are laser focused and hard edged. Motifs morph and repeat, an eye form or is it a seed pod? An angular shape spears the composition. Is it an arrow, pyramid, shaft of light or all of those?

Solomon is a passionate and focused seeker whose need to understand is palpable. He maintains a large library of reference works, books about artists, materials and techniques, to which he refers frequently. He cares deeply about his work, cares about everything, and has been active in the artist community of Santa Fe at all levels. In addition to his own painting, he has worked as a curator, a framer, handler, gallery associate and conservator.

Solomon paints on sheets of aluminum using specially mixed pigments. The metal imparts luminosity to his paintings as reflected light gleams back through the layers of color. Their hard, smooth surface takes on texture when Solomon embeds unmixed pigments into his paints. His interest is gesture and suggestion, streaks and drips are part of the vocabulary. Uneven applications of color, or mottled layers of it, soften the character of the metal and lend a quality of dimension and depth to the work. “Painting is the automatic pursuit of perfection. Each painting informs the next and yet perfection is beautifully unattainable. It is a type of path.”