Wednesday, January 13, 2010

David Goslin at Gallery A

Untitled - 121, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 58, 2009

David Goslin’s influences are immediately recognizable. Walking into the first room of his current show at Gallery A, the colors and compositions of his hard-edge stripe paintings reference Morris Lewis, Barnett Newman, and of course, the Washington Color School. There is a retro aesthetic throughout the show that may come, in part, from these influences. The browns and blues
used in these paintings are particularly evocative of popular decorating palettes from earlier decades, which, coincidentally, seem to be coming back into fashion again.

Goslin’s most successful pieces in this exhibition show his subtle understanding of color. Often times, hard-edge stripes can create a color vibration that is hard to study for

longer than a second without hurting one’s eyes. This is not the case in Goslin’s paintings. In Untitled-120, specifically, nine vertical bars of different widths make the viewer’s eye dance across the painting with the vibration of the colors, but in a very comfortable way. His muted tones serve as a complimentary foil to the brighter colors and as a visual resting place.

Also of interest are the paintings where he re-introduces color mixing on the canvas. There are several large pieces that have to be called landscapes. Two horizontal stripes of a single tone each separate a ground color and sky color that have subtle tonal shifts. Looking like a sea at sunset, a field after a rain, or a desert horizon, these landscapes celebrate color as the rest of the paintings in this show do, but bring in the extra element of narrating a place to the viewer.

Annie Turner for The Washington Printmakers Gallery

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