Olsen Gruin Presents The Roaring Daze From Paul Davies

three stories, 2019. by paul davies Three Stories, 2019.

This Spring, Olsen Gruin will present The Roaring Daze, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Paul Davies. This body of work explores the connection between Davies’ Australian heritage and his adopted home, California. The title is a play on Henry Lawson’s 1889 gold rush poem. Joining this new group of works is Davies’ painting, Built Landscape I, on loan from the Palm Springs Art Museum. The Roaring Daze will be on view at Olsen Gruin from May 17 – June 16, 2019.

Selected photos from Davies’ prolific collection are enlarged and meticulously hand cut into screens through which paint is brushed in layers onto the canvas. The screens are contrasted with freehand brush marks which Davies explains “were in part guided by Joan Didion’s The White Album, stories of old and new California, told from memory and historical fact.” Davies’ paintings are open-plan spaces of architecture and landscape. The subjects interlock with one another in bright hues and invite a multitude of readings rather than a straightforward narrative.

east west coast 1, paul davies East West Coast 1, 2019.

These hand-cut screens also serve as templates for bronze and wood sculptures in the exhibition, the latter of which can be manipulated by the viewer’s hand to play with the notion of positive and negative space. Here, the rationality of architectural form is contrasted with the freedom of abstraction and refers directly back to the way in which the paintings were produced.

Limbo Landscape by Paul Davies Limbo Landscape, 2016-2019.

Davies then takes the screens’ use a step further by placing them over light-sensitive pieces of paper and exposing them under direct sunlight to produce one-off photograms. The title of these works describes the location, time, temperature and duration of exposure, alluding to a rejection of the instantaneous nature of photography today. This component of Davies’s practice began on a residency awarded by the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Phoenix, the works from which were acquired by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

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