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David Reed - Heart of Glass

Paintings and Drawings 1967 - 2012

28.06. - 07.10.2012

David Reed, born 1946 in San Diego and since the 1970s living in New York, is considered one of the outstanding personalities of the American painting scene. The confrontation of the European and American history of painting is reflected in his oeuvre, one that simultaneously opens up new media and new artistic forms of expression in his reference to the cinema in his ‘bedroom ensembles’—“Judy’s Bedroom” and “Scottie’s Bedroom”—and installation work. Thus his painting brings his own creative “basic research” into play together with a profound discussion of what painting can accomplish today in competition with new image-producing media.


The wide-ranging perspectives of his works are documented in the exhibition that has been specifically conceived for Kunstmuseum Bonn. Following the way his artwork developed, the exhibition begins with early, nature-inspired paintings that came about from a motif on an Indian reservation. Their pictorial vocabulary reflects the impact of Abstract Expressionism with whose subjectivist pathos he became engaged in his “brushstroke paintings”. The serial layout of these works from the 1970s cools down the expressive furor and replaces the subjective pathos of Abstract Expressionism with an ornamentality in which gesticulation seems to circle self-sufficiently around itself. These works that recall Baroque ornamentation from past decades evolve into a cool, seductive aestheticism which is, nonetheless, the product of a complex, quite reflection-led preparatory phase. This is documented by the drawings that have been integrated into the exhibition and that make clear the high degree to which Reed links sensualism and conceptual control of the artistic process.

Over 60 works will be on display that will illustrate exemplarily the state of painting before and after the millennium.

Opening: 27 June 2012, 8 p.m.

David Reed #323, 1990-1993, Öl und Alkyd auf Leinwand, 112 x 46 in. (284,5 x 116,9 cm),Sammlung Mondstudio © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2012