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David Reed - The Mirror and the Pool

Martin Hentschel

Reed has devised a completely new, site-specific work for Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld (Germany), in the form of one single painting. Extending as it does through all of the exhibition spaces as a moving, “floating” painting, it demands that the beholder takes a kind of cinematographic approach to view it.

David Reed (born 1946 in San Diego, lives and works in New York) is one of the most influential artists in the United States. He has taken a completely different direction from Imi Knoebel for expanding the spectrum of non-representational art. While at college and art school (until 1968) he devoted himself at first to a form of landscape painting inspired by Abstract Expressionism, before moving on single-mindedly in the 1970s to a form of Minimalist gestural Abstraction.

Over the years, the artist has developed a complex system for applying the paint in which an illusionist sense of depth and a painterly flatness interact in precarious ways. But what also remains decisive for Reed is the physicality of his painting, which embraces moreover its opposite: “Abstraction comes from losing the contours of your body and not knowing where you are.” (Reed) At the same time, the Cinemascope formats, along with the sequences of movement within the paintings, show the relevance of Reed’s experiences with film.

Reed has devised a completely new, site-specific work for Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld (Germany), in the form of one single painting. Extending as it does through all of the exhibition spaces as a moving, “floating” painting, it demands that the beholder takes a kind of cinematographic approach to view it.

For the first time in his work Reed has used stencils that allow him not only to integrate painterly gestures in part from works dating to the 1970s into this new piece, but also to stage repetitions of new abstract motifs. Stencilled motifs are constantly interwoven with one-off gestures, producing nodal points with a dynamic spatial depth.

While simultaneously interacting with Mies van der Rohe’s architecture and Yves Klein’s immaterial space Le Vide (1961), he creates a bewildering pictorial panorama made up of mirrorings, repetitions and erased spatial boundaries.

Language: Englisch / German