P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents David Reed Paintings: Motion Pictures in its first floor drawing and painting galleries from June 20 through August 29, 1999. The exhibition includes Reed’s Brushmark paintings from 1974, paintings from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, and Judy’s Bedroom and Scottie’s Bedroom, works related to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo. The presentation at P.S.1 includes selections from the exhibition organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. The exhibition travels to P.S.1 from the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio.
Beginning with his earliest work, David Reed has challenged Modernist ideals and sought out new directions in abstract painting. Reed’s gestural mark-making refers to painting movements as varied as Mannerist and Baroque painting, Abstract Expressionism, and Postminimalism. His choice of long horizontal and vertical painting formats and the seemingly frozen moments captured on his canvases reference both CinemaScope film and the visual effects of photography. The vibrantly-colored swirling forms repeated across the surface of Reed’s works recall handmade gestures, and simultaneously, reproductions of such gestures, while his palette evokes the technological light that emanates from televisions, monitors, and movie screens.
Reed’s recent multi-media works, Judy’s Bedroom (1992) and Scottie’s Bedroom (1994), combine his interests in photography and film with his painting, using Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo as a vehicle. Deciding to become a “bedroom painter,” Reed inserts his own paintings, through video and set recreations, into the charged environments of Hitchcock’s rooms, raising questions of originality, representation, reality, and the seductive power of color and form. In his 1995 book After the End of Art, critic Arthur Danto highlighted Reed’s inventive synthesis of painting with other media, describing him as an “exemplar of the contemporary moment in the arts.”
David Reed Paintings: Motion Pictures debuted at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in September 1998. Following its presentation at P.S.1, the exhibition will travel to the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts in November 1999.
David Reed Paintings: Motion Pictures has been made possible thanks to generous grants from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; and the Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation, San Diego.
Special thanks go to Max Protetch, Max Protetch Gallery, New York.