David Newman Artist Statement
Although a far cry from the early representational works in sculpture and painting, the current, often-large canvasses David Newman now regularly produces have their roots in a passionate respect for the composition he studied while in France and Italy in his early years. A natural evolutive process of analytic study and synthetic reconstruction leads him to the all-encompassing joyful and whimsical abstract statements. From a hothouse conceptual bank of watercolors and ink, where the bottle sprawls bold scrolls reminiscent of life's basic components, Newman refines the random edges of the ink rivers, taking chaos and breathing order and rhythm into it. Sometimes he later contrasts the shiny satin ribbons of the dry ink with visions of abstract pools and clouds, thighs and wings, petals, leaves and seeds of masterly blended dazzling colors.
With consummate assurance he deals with the idea of contrasting spaces, which he sometimes refers to as his "negative space". Reluctant to feel locked into a painting without escape from the pervasion of color, he pierces perspectives that allow the onlooker his own exploratory space. A relief in an overcrowded world. Newman's longtime familiarity with sculpture brings solidity, structure and weight to the playfulness of his designs. His constant scrutiny of life forms - many of the works emerge from sessions with models, while others are strongly dependent on the inner images conjured up by waves, rocks, jagged cliffs and ebbing seas - as awareness of other modes of existence. All this contributes to a pulsing feeling of primeval life.
These elements integrate into an undeniable coherence, inviting you to a unique world that spells essential creation without the obvious alphabet dancing on it. The immediacy of the artist's visions rest upon the strength of the never-retouched line which states its bold message in one swooping stroke over the virgin canvas. Sometimes the white canvas is the line itself left as a pristine vine separating the areas of color.
Motives are embroidered with thick outpourings from the tube etching relief, and singing the joy of matter. The surface is often a stormy sea, reminding us that out of the sea came the infinite variations of life. Nature is here pursued into its intangible interplay of light, dark, sun, shade, mists, and the rusty ochre of a newly furrowed field.