'And yet delirium still prevails, the delirium of
inwardness in public space, and in the
contradictory idea that a painted image, despite
its flatness, can still transport us.'
David Korty's recent work portrays a stylistically complex space in which his calligraphic alphabet of pencil lines, paint strokes, and colour forms coalesce into dense, seamless compositions. The simple images of everyday life - women reading magazines, couples milling about, figures waiting in line, and a man surveying a botanical garden, betray the seeming mundanity of the subjects and reveal a kind of slow-burning introspection. The stillness of the figures and shapes in the paintings give way to a roving movement of the eye and hand. A voracious curiosity that asks us to look closer at the things which are already in front of us.
In these new paintings Korty adopts a more muted palette and elaborates organic form into geometric pattern. The painting Untitled (women at computers) (2007) uses tones of grey, blue and black, while other parts of the canvas are left bare. The viewer's attention is drawn first to the foreground where a woman is conveyed using simple monochromatic line-work. The space behind her then becomes apparent, in which those elements are echoed and re-echoed like a repeating melody. The curved line that represents the first woman's shoulder is repeated to form the distant figures behind her and the same line is then beguilingly inverted to create the curve in the first and second women’s hair. It is as if the motif were a letter being upended by a child who has discovered an “M” by inverting the letter “W”. Not to say that these paintings are overtly playful or carefree: a resolute sense of the "matter of fact" is evident throughout and whatever painterly technique is used, it remains subservient to the larger, more complex idea at hand.
David Korty was born in 1971 in California, United States of America. He lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited widely, including the group shows: Painting Codes: I Codici della Pittura, Galleria Comunale d'Arte Contemporanea di Monfalcone, Monfalcone, Italy, 2006; Landscape Confection,The Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio, 2005; My Head is On Fire But my Heart is Full of Love, Charlottenburg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen, 2004; Painting on the Move, Kunstmuseum Basel; Museum für Gegenwartskunst Basel; Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, 2002. To coincide with the exhibition a new book on the artist's work featuring a text by Rachel Kushner will be published by Sadie Coles HQ, Michael Kohn Gallery and Koenig Books.