Gallery Nuke is proud to present a drawing focused show by David West, during the occasion of the Paris Drawing Now salon. Collected works on paper are shown, including important portrait works and landscapes, alongside two large-scale site-specific murals in the gallery.
The portraits are from a series called ‘Photomaton’, and relate to the landscape work as architectonic studies of the detritus of emotion, stripped down to the basis, to what’s left to experience through memory. The artist’s decision to do the murals in pastel for the show was partly informed by the short time period of the show itself, and to reinforce his ongoing commitment to art for art’s sake: they will be erased at the conclusion of the show.
‘Nadja wanders the place dauphine, imagining an alternative passage, burrowed beneath her feet. In this profound seclusion, past and future occupy the same virtual space. David West, artist, sets his sights on place dauphine. He does not unearth any underground passageway; instead he reduces, minimizes the surface clutter, revealing an austere dreamscape. West’s work, with the acute sensitivity of his expatriate’s eye touches on the innate memories of place. His goal seems to test the limits of how little one can say or do, to make manifest an emotion. Which gesture, which wrinkle, carries the most significance? And what must be eliminated, in order that we the viewer can focus our attention on what’s important…
Some of his work, including his portraits and landscapes, play this reductive game. Others like “ol’ scratch” (a popular term in 19c. New england for the devil), combine motifs from his native country that seem to have welled up from the collective (american) unconscious: a primitive head, looking like a deracinated african tutelary god, is flanked by two red arches (they are evocative of both Eero Saarinen’s famous gateway arch in St. Louis, and the ubiquitous golden arches of Mcdonald’s.) This tableau is legible as a burlesque of historical religous/political bloodletting or the return of the repressed with a vengeance.’
Kevin O’Sullivan, Los Angeles, March 2015
An exclusive tee shirt has been produced in collaboration with paris based fashion house each x other for the occasion, featuring a portrait of musician, nick currie, momus.