__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


DA M O N F R E E D Life Saver

bruno david gallery


DAMON FREED Life Saver

December 2, 2011 - January 21, 2012 Bruno David Gallery 3721 Washington Boulevard Saint Louis, 63108 Missouri, U.S.A. info@brunodavidgallery.com www.brunodavidgallery.com Director: Bruno L. David This catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition Damon Freed: Life Saver. Editor: Bruno L. David Catalog Designer: Yoko Kiyoi and Kara Gordon Design Assistant: Claudia R. David Printed in USA All works courtesy of Bruno David Gallery and Damon Freed Cover image: Damon Freed. Life Saver (detail), 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches

Copyright Š 2011 Bruno David Gallery, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of Bruno David Gallery, Inc.


CONTENTS

CALIBRATION by Kara Gordon AFTERWORD by Bruno L. David POEMS by Damon Freed CHECKLIST AND IMAGES OF THE EXHIBITION BIOGRAPHY

1


Let It Be Known Let it be known that I am who I want to be – In as far as the bones and the heart in the chest of me. In as far as the break and the beat of anatomy – Let it be known that I am who I want to be.

-Damon Freed 2011

2


3


CALIBRATION by Kara Gordon

“Calibrated” When I look to the sun and there’s none to be had I calibrate my fun against the directions of mad. In this I am saved from the underwhelming mood of the day and at least I can say I delightfully manicured my spirit my way! -- Damon Freed

4


Titled Life Saver, Freed’s exhibition expresses his tempo of thought and our own contemporary cadence. The paintings pulsate, pushing and pulling from one end of a dichotomy to another. There is nothing still about these paintings, despite the fact that most of them have very centered compositions. At the same time, however, they are not chaotic. On the contrary, they are extraordinarily balanced. Like an experienced rider on a unicycle, they are stable compositions, but must keep moving in order to remain so. Our world is full of contradictions, full of impossible juxtapositions that can be devastating. Freed, however, embraces these differences. One work, “ME,” maintains a perpendicular line structure until the bottom of the composition, in which the lines puddle together. Another, “Doormat, Window Painting,” juxtaposes the physical entrance of a home with the cerebral exit, playing with the ideas of refuge and escape. Freed’s titles enhance the hopefulness, the striving for balance, by grounding the abstract compositions with either concrete associations or language that allows the viewer to collaborate in its meaning. On a physical level, Freed creates a moving stability by working with both balance and asymmetry. Warm colors accentuated by black outlines vibrate throughout the paintings; their asymmetrical applications offset centered compositions. Paintings such as “The World,” “Warm Morale” or “Where To” accomplish a sense of movement, but refrains from invoking urgency, rush or panic. The paintings illustrate life at its fullest—always moving and always on the verge of further action, but never in a hurry. The tension between the potential and kinetic energies of the paintings calls the viewer to mobilize, to play and to find joy in doing so. The paintings are simultaneously active and reflective, optimistically embracing life in all it has to offer. Freed’s title painting, Life Saver, ties together water and land, pattern and solid, line and form. Pulsating in and out of the background, this celebration of the ephemeral, this moving balance, is the life saver.

Kara Gordon is a writer who lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri. This essay is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends.

5


AFTERWORD by Bruno L. David 6


I am very pleased to present Damon Freed’s second solo exhibition with the gallery entitled Life Saver. Support for the creation of significant new works of art has been the core to the mission and program of the Bruno David Gallery since its founding. Damon Freed’s remarkable and compelling paintings make him one the most impressive artists of the gallery. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Kara Gordon for her thoughtful essay and to Damon Freed for aggreeing to publish some of his poems in this catalogue. I am deeply grateful to Yoko Kiyoi, who lent much time, talent, and expertise to the production of this catalogue and to Kara Gordon, Rachael Schomburg and Alana Downie for working on the exhibition. Continuing his exploration of push and pull, Freed delves deeper into the dichotomy of balance and asymmetry. Freed’s new paintings have a pulse. Warm colors accentuated by black outlines vibrate throughout the paintings; their asymmetrical applications offset centered compositions. They are warm, full of life, always moving and always on the verge of further action. The tension between the potential and kinetic energies of the paintings calls the viewer to mobilize, to play and to find joy in doing so. The paintings are active and reflective, full of opposing relationships, yet embracive of all these qualities. Freed’s titles enhance the already-present sense of harmony by grounding the abstract compositions with associations that are either concrete or presented in a language that allows the viewer to collaborate in its meaning. Damon Freed works and lives in Missouri. He received his M.F.A. from Hunter College, New York, and a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts, New York.

7


A Call To Young Men In Education

If they only knew they would come running I’m sure of it. The coffee houses are rampant with beautiful young women giving life to millennia of fresh ideas. I wonder where all the young men are? Their attendance is lacking. Emerson would not approve. May they be at home? Are they no longer able to rise above circumstance? Getting a start on the real-world as they say? Classrooms are empty, empty as a midday coffee cup. Not enough testosterone pushing me to the physical brink, where only caffeine is left to fuel the passion, innovation, and will of academia. Man up! Or is that too old school, machismo, typical, not sensitive enough – perhaps. Is it boys beating on boys, men beating on men, until there’s nothing left beyond a burgundy childhood pulp? The tide has turned I assure you, and it is not a bloody tide, or in the shade of lipstick. It is modest, pure, confident, female.

8


Iris

Nights and days bright as an Iris in May. The pupil is not my Concern now. Your pure flexible Iris is able to swallow the sky And my face in an instant. I’ll Grant you my face if you grant Me the sky – we could see for Miles atop those clouds of white. We could tell jokes to the angels In flight, tease them about real Love, its modern triumph, and How the statistics lie – so long As you grant me the sky!

9


Spring Signs

Atomic-pink, orange and peach, newborn hues, lavender too. Scents a blend of every season, enough to convict the wind of treason. Gimme sixty, gimme seventy, turn the knob to frivol and levity. Cooler soups, greener salads, shooting hoops and birdie ballads.

10


The French – A Tribute

I should like

What is it with the French?

Vuillard’s mother to have crafted They do nothing with a wrench,

my sheets, and pillows stuffed

but with tweezers, and after all,

with summer haystacks from Giverny.

get the job done much – much easier

Were I born Using kindred grace and

there – had I breathed that

finesse, a swift and delicate

Cezanne air, I would liked

kiss to the tops of every French forehead, for I do love them –

to have met Matisse – Derain – Apollinaire.

What other nation has birthed a Bolero and Clair de Lune? Zero – that is the answer.

11


Winter Quilt, For Leigha

Red, turquoise, and ultramarine – patches from a sewing machine! Lavender, cream, white, and pink, diamond shapes, and Christmas trees. Needlework and battle wounds dragging you from room to room. You’ve become old and thin. Your warmth is shed, your thread has been. But I’ll remain beneath your heart for one last dream, for one last night. What’s to come and what’s to be, and what’s to prevent you from parody? For all the newest quilts will say, “You’re all washed up, ragged, and grey.” But I’ll recall those shivery days when all brave quilts ogled and said, “Now there’s a quilt without a fray, bright as the sun, warm as its rays!”

12


Heavy Lifters

We strike keys as orderlies Folding towels for psychotherapists Accordingly. For who helps them to smile? Their hearts need cleansed too, wherefore, We not only fold the towels we make them -Us Poets - but not too soft or scratchy. They’re Made just right! So that they may also Sleep at night – as all the world Should after a hard day. We’re heavy lifters. For when our hearts and brains Are made of knobs and shifters they Lend an ear for correction. Little more Is ever needed for direction. When we lose Our way they kindly say, “So what would you Like to talk about today?” We help each Other – like a good piece of toast with Key lime curd needs butter!

13


Jazz

I hear geese and notes. Pianos, cymbals, horns, foreign tropes. Step on it Brubeck, the inquisition has arrived. You did with four what most can’t do with five. Slow it down Brubeck, keep ‘em guessin’. All sound souls get to heaven! More horn ace, I don’t want to know my face by the end of it, transport me to the square. Gimme a tune for a slow and quirky afternoon, then a jive for a moonlit dive. Then, a night ending, brain melting, heart teasing set of Take Five.

14


Matisse

Joy, effervescence, patterns and prints; Boyish decadence, shades, and tints. Still-lifes, nudes, and all of the above; Formalities, technicalities, and painterly love. Were God a man he’d be hard pressed to find; A more competent scientist of spectrum divine. Were Matisse a God he’d aptly design; Men, women, and children of the jollier kind.

15


Stephen Westfall

Pure color. Flowerbeds shaking Hands of car hoods. Ocher buttermilk and bright blue cream. Tangible Intangible canvas dreams. Stretched And finessed. Molding paste and Gesso. Squares, diagonals, yellows. Geometry that says hello. Smooth To the touch – sanded, but not too Much. Painting that walks without A crutch. Joy, humility, and such.

16


To Young Artists

Do not fear diligence at hand. It is to make the effortless appearances Grand! Without tilling the soil, or Making a toil, our bouquets and relationships Would wilt upon the slightest of storms. It is this hard fought groundwork that grants Us the abilities of spring, the joys of the ring. So I say marry yourself to it, this practice of Fine art; be as the carpenter and bricklayer. Day by day the beauty will become fairer. Your tedious actions will take on the craft of Bees who’s hourly work we do not question, Until the honey sweetens our tongue. God forbid, Have fun! Make some slapdash objects, mindless Pictures, do with paint what seamstresses do with Scissors! Invent a color that gives the whole world Shivers!

17


18


CHECKLIST & IMAGES OF THE EXHIBITION

19


My Joy Cell, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 20


X-Game, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 21


Polka Dance, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 22


Human Heat, For Kenneth Noland, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 23


Still-Life with Boxes, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 24


Human Hands, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 25


Farmhouse Window & Door, After Georgia O’Keeffe, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 26


The World, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 27


Bi-Polar, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 28


Country Mouse Town Mouse, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 29


Doormat, Window Painting, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 30


Diamond Cutter, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 31


On High, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 32


Life Saver, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 33


Sunflowers, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 34


Jazz, Saint Louis, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 35


Birds, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 36


Boat, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 37


Pinwheel, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 38


Where To?, 2011 Acrylic and Flashe on canvas 21 x 21 inches 39


DAMON FREED: Life Saver at Bruno David Gallery, 2011. (Installation View - Detail) 40


DAMON FREED: Life Saver at Bruno David Gallery, 2011. (Installation View - Detail) 41


DAMON FREED: Life Saver at Bruno David Gallery, 2011. (Installation View - Detail) 42


DAMON FREED: Life Saver at Bruno David Gallery, 2011. (Installation View - Detail) 43


44


DAMON FREED EDUCATION M.F.A. Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY B.F.A. School of Visual Arts, New York, NY State Fair Community College, Sedalia Missouri

SOLO EXHIBITION 2011 2009

Bruno David Gallery, “Damon Freed: Life Saver,” Saint Louis, MO (catalogue) Bruno David Gallery, “Damon Freed: Calm, Cool, Coherent,” Saint Louis, MO (catalogue)

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2010 2009 2009 2006 2006 2003

RECESSION REJUVENATIONS, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO OVERVIEW_09, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, MO Gallery Selections: Small Scale Works, Tobey Fine Arts, New York Correspondence to a Single Point: A Survey of Geometric Abstraction, Tobey Fine Arts, New York Hum, Curated by Shinsuke Aso, Tobey Fine Arts, New York The Wild Bunch, Curated by Tim Rollins, White Box Gallery, New York

45


GRANTS/AWARDS 2003 2002 2001 2000 2000

Honors—School of Visual Arts, New York Juan Gonzales Award—School of Visual Arts, New York Fine Arts Departmental Grant—School of Visual Arts, New York Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship—School of Visual Arts, New York Dr. Tony Racela Grant—State Fair Community College

BIBLIOGRAPHY Baran, Jessica. Cooper, Ivy. Gordon, Kara. Cooper, Ivy. Baran, Jessica. Weant, Nancy.

46

“Life Saver at Bruno David gallery”, Riverfront Times, December 15, 2011 “Winter wondering at Bruno David Gallery”, St. Louis Beacon, December 5, 2011 “Calibration”, Esssay, Bruno David Gallery Publications, Exhibition catalogue, 2011 “Damon Freed”, St. Louis Beacon, March 19, 2009 “Damon Freed: Calm, Cool, Coherent”, Riverfront Times, March 25, 2009 “Damon Freed: Calm, Cool, Coherent”, Essay, Bruno David Gallery Publications, Exhibition catalogue, 2009


47


48


ARTISTS Margaret Adams Dickson Beall Laura Beard Elaine Blatt Martin Brief Lisa K. Blatt Shawn Burkard Bunny Burson Carmon Colangelo Alex Couwenberg

Damon Freed William Griffin Joan Hall Takashi Horisaki Kim Humphries Kelley Johnson Howard Jones (Estate) Chris Kahler Bill Kohn (Estate) Leslie Laskey

Patricia Olynyk Robert Pettus Gary Passanise Daniel Raedeke Chris Rubin de la Borbolla Frank Schwaiger Charles Schwall Christina Shmigel Thomas Sleet Buzz Spector

Jill Downen Yvette Drury Dubinsky Corey Escoto Beverly Fishman

Sandra Marchewa Peter Marcus Genell Miller

Lindsey Stouffer Cindy Tower Mario Trejo Ken Worley

brunodavidgallery.com

49

Profile for Bruno David Gallery

Damon Freed: Life Saver  

49 page fully illustrated color catalogue of Damon Freed’s exhibition "Life Saver" at Bruno David Gallery. Includes an essay by Kara Gordon....

Damon Freed: Life Saver  

49 page fully illustrated color catalogue of Damon Freed’s exhibition "Life Saver" at Bruno David Gallery. Includes an essay by Kara Gordon....