David Ivan Clark
My paintings hover in the space between romantic landscape and weathered industrial artifact. They dwell in limbo, each marking the spot where nostalgia collides with fact, where celebration and elegy converge.
From a distance the paintings present land, sky and nothing more. Held up to the turbulent flux of the mechanized world, they offer refuge. As one draws near, however, bucolic illusion becomes fugitive: deep space collapses to surface; distant horizon reverts to paint, pitted and scoured; serene haven, glimpsed as if on film, old, grainy and scratched, dissolves to abstraction.
The vast, silent plains of western Canada, where I was born and raised, inform both my life and work. As a child I felt the numinous in the natural world which surrounded me. Fast-forward to the post-modern age in which we are asked to view the world, not as independent from and external to ourselves, but as internal construct flung outwards. We no longer inhabit the world but our own shimmering projections. From this vantage, the existence of the natural sanctuary I inhabited as a child, which sustains me still, is called into question. My work explores this dilemma.
My work has been chosen by curators from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Denver Art Museum and the Triton Museum of Art for inclusion in shows at various venues in the western states. It is held in over two hundred private, public and corporate collections throughout the United States and Canada.
With the exception of a brief apprenticeship in the studio of Jonathan Barbieri, Oaxaca, Mexico, I am self-taught as a painter. I have a degree in literature from Princeton University and studied architecture at the Oregon School of Design.