David BatesDC Moore Gallery724 Fifth Avenue at 57th StreetNew York, New York 10019
Art in Review Published: December 15, 2006DAVID BATESD. C. Moore724 Fifth Avenue, at 57th StreetThrough Dec. 22In fashionable art-world circles the paintings of David Bates are considered conservative if not reactionary or, at best, guilty pleasures, if they are considered at all. If I wanted to signal my agreement I would say that I like them against my better judgment, but in truth I just like them. Mr. Bates, who was born and lives in Dallas, is working with energy in a still-life tradition that dates to Manet, late Braque and Marsden Hartley. His paintings of flowers and fruit don’t sit quietly on the wall. They bristle like carpentered objects, press forward with every molecule and demand attention. Their ancestral DNA might even include Joe Zucker’s obstreperous cotton-ball paintings. Mr. Bates’s bayou swampscapes are marginally more contained, but are full of lurid lights and depictions of actual carpentry in the form of boats and cabins; they peacefully intimate nature’s demise. But the artist’s aggressive intentions are perhaps clearest in his individual and group portraits of angry residents of the Gulf Coast who got the short end of the stick when Hurricane Katrina passed through. Taken from television, these images bring the self-contained glower that hovers behind his work out into the open and give it the immediate force of human emotions and events. These works suggest that even in times of crisis, paintings can be as powerful as photographs. ROBERTA SMITH
Sometimes simple pleasures are just what you need. Been a fan for a while, always reminded, of Marsden Hartley. The Katrina portraits have again given him something vital to paint.
In the past, Bates used a heavy black line to seperate each form in his painting, like stain-glass, flattening and reducing in a way that began to feel tiresome and formulaic. It is good to see him drop that line more often and sometimes altogether in this new work.
roberta cont'd ,... in short i'd like to conclude,... 'way to go dummy,..don't hurt yourself.'
Speaking of carpentry, Bates has in recent years done intentionally crude wood sculptures of his figures and flowers, and then painted them up in his usual painterly style. I don't think they are nearly as effective as his paintings. Maybe that was a transitional device to work his way out of the black outlines. Hope so, because as said above, the lines have grown tiresome. Keep dancing in the paint, David.
a thesaurus of YAWN.
ummm....hm. this reminds me of patrick cauflield, but not as witty. not familiar with any of his other work...but i am not a fan a this.
This guy is in a helluva lot of museum collections!Although this particular painting is not the best example, he has got a good sense of composition--I'll give him that.
this guy might be able to paint his butt off. so why not then right? too bad about the museum thing, is it really necassary?... we got alot of really good guys that out lined things and balanced a picture quite nicely.. Gaugin etc.. and then they also did a nice many interesting things with paint handling too. to this guy i say, yes, yes cry me a river... painting is soo dead isn't it... have a drink.
Whoa, speaking of Marsden Hartley...
Though I admire and respect the work of David Bates, and have been looking at and considering it since he hit the New York scene in the mid eighties, I think that his practice represents one on the dilemmas that contemporary artists face, (probably more profoundly here in NYC than painter folks out in Texas or elsewhere) which is: whether it is better to have a consistent “style”, or better to evolve your style and in a sense not have a signature “style”. This painting has the “Batesian” look, the heavy black outlines, funky slightly off kilter composition and gray and earth toned palette with a few juicy chunks of color for contrast (based no doubt on the series of still-lifes in front of sea facing windows that Marsden Hartley produced during his last decade in Maine). A bold and recognizable “style” yes, but essentially the same thing he was producing (the sculpture not with standing) twenty-five years ago. I know that dealers and some collectors like the idea of a consistent body of work, but unless you’re doing something with your subject matter, or paint- handling, or something, you’re just producing a product. Not a bad thing necessarily, but it does raise the question of producing what the market expectes or taking the risk and venturing into new territory
The Sum is far more interesting then the parts... Hey look Time just named You the Man of the year!
yes, welcome to our world, yes thanks Time for i am but an embryo or a maggot just learning bout this shit i call life.kj appreciate your thoughts and well i guess i find that kind of stuff disappointing not to mention this just gets boring. At least the other guys were in search of something.. You know Gaug n Gogh.. Since we are putting up old guys how bout some good dead onesI really want to see a good Francis Bacon.........Anyone in the mood??? i love this man.
"taking the risk"damn that hurts. kj, couldn't it be easier? I'm tired of all this pain.
Poppy why do you love FB?
i really love his paintings and seem to always find inspiration in his work. I also have never seen in person. text books usually have pretty good reproductions but i recently seen a couple of paintings on line that seemed to really capture more of what they'd be like in person... i feel sort of continually impressed with his work.. I also see bits of his work in alot of comtemporary painters too.. but this isn't why i like him... Somehow with everything that is going on in painting his work also seems to remain quite freakish..Kindof like Kandinsky's paintings still seem to look very odd in relation to current stuff.. I guess its a combo of technical and subject that im impressed with - that both of it still impresses..
Hey Poppy,In spite of running the risk of both cliché and being off topic, from one fan to another:The 1990 show that traveled in USA was one of the most singularly stunning shows I’ve ever seen. I had never seen Bacons in person, and to see the early work coupled with what were then recent self portraits was a very formative experience. They felt like they came from another planet. I believe Hirschorn has at least one on permanent display. I would really encourage you to see one. MOMA has a few, but I don’t know if they bring them out from the vault or not. Does anyone know?Obviously his influence in England is unquestioned, and I’ve always found it a disappointment that everyone I know thinks its so silly to be taken with his work.
Poppy, depending on where you’re situated there’s got to be some places that you can sneak a gander at some Bacons. Marlborough used to drag out a couple of nice example at least once a year. Now that Tony Shafrazi has gotten the estate he seems to regularly mix in some Bacon with his regular stable. I’d like Bacon just from seeing the mess his studio was!Clement, just remember, you can’t have PAINting with out PAIN, (sounds like a good hook for a country-western song).
I also was impressed by the 1990 FB show at the Temporary Contemporary in LA.This David Bates reminds me of Roy Lichtenstein, as well as Marsden Hartley. It also echoes one of my favorite paintings in the SFMOMA permanent collection, Rufino Tamayo, The Window.
i find it surprising anyone would find people taken with fb silly... esp. the fact that his work does stand alone,, like you said from another planet, and i agree with that.. this may not have been his first objective ' to stand alone ' but it says alot when one can and does.theres definately a certain virtuosity there that is not easily duplicated i think..As for actually seeing one.. i live under a rock right now so it will be quite impossible for some time.. On the romantic note , yes i too am quite fascinated with the filth of his surroundings..
totally off topic but... this site will be up and running soon and if any a yous got a bone to pick with any gallery for whatever reason here is the place to pick itwww.BadGalleries.Org.this is gonna be innerestin'
I've always liked David Bates but haven't been able to see the show. Caulfield, that's an interesting connection.Off topic, Jackie Saccoccio at Black and White, Yun Fei Ji at Cohan...
hey bad galleries.org, this sounds intersting..keep us posted on that..
Poppy.... I've recently seen some F.B. at the Tate Modern.. so very different from looking at a book/ internet. You can see the brush marks, scrapes, bits of color peeping through etc etcHe's top of my list for color, brushwork, emotive content, composition etc ... thanks for mentioning him!
i second that motion,...he is for me as well funny thing ,..other day i stumbled upon fb pntg on the net that read so differently than any image i'd seen prior both web or book...this is why i brought him up
Which one was it?Have you ever tried to copy one of his paintings? I found it hard work.I think there was a F.B. at MOMA.
you can flip thru this show my fav. shafrazi moments were 1) when he thought this girl who was sleeping in a guest room at my buddys house in w-burg was "left for him in his bed" and woke her up appropriately 2) when he got all unfloofed when P.B. was showcasing his stash at the gugg. and made no motion to hide it.
i can't recall,i tried an interpretation once,mine was not so hot
NWM.. nice pics...thanks!
I wish I had a lot of this work so I could dump all of it on the market. Or just threaten to.
online stuff - like a more stylized version of john alexander. Should stick to landscapes because the humor is about as funny as a knock knock joke.
Memo: Martin Chuzzlewit says Xmass is cancelled this year.Gaugin died of syphilus.Van Gogh used his brothers money to pay for prostitutes.Speaking of fly fishing.
"While men and women on the opposite side of the globe toil to earn their living, contend with cold and hunger, and suffer constant privation, the lucky inhabitants of the remote South Sea paradise of Tahiti know life only at Its brightest. For them, to live is to sing and love."Ah yes, and thats me over there just singing my little heart out. Caw Caw Caw.
its a good show! still up and well worth stopping thru if you can.
Post a Comment