An Exhibition of Recent Paintings
April 11 - June 6, 2008
Opening reception: April 11, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Gallery walk-through and artist talk at 6:00 pm
David Taborn, as a painter – and despite all of his heroic attempts to escape painting’s flatness over the years, a painter he stubbornly remains – there is no one who has cast painting more conspicuously and more joyously as a material practice. Taborn’s work employs an almost bewildering range of different substances, raw materials, techniques and processes and it is this aspect of his work which first captures our attention.
The implications of the homunculus as a metaphoric model for the making of a painting are fascinating. The traditional idea of painterly containment in which everything is determined in relationship to the canvas edge... as a flattened topology, in other words... is suddenly transformed into a three-dimensional model. What is envisaged is a conceptually elliptical space or skin within which the elements that act together to form the image are endlessly moving and jostling with each other.
The stylistic character of each new work is the subject of an ongoing negotiation that becomes the inner life, the conceptual content – if you like – of the work itself. Taborn, when talking about his work, often uses the metaphor of the portrait. For him, individual works have individual characters; characters which have been acquired, ultimately, from within the making of the works themselves. But the metaphor also suggests a form of ‘doubling’, which is part of the homunculus model too: the idea that somehow the works have enjoyed some kind of prior state of existence.
Coming face to face with David Taborn’s work for the first time is an exciting and immediately enriching perceptual experience. As we have already remarked, these are works, which trade quite unashamedly on a bewildering range of manual skills and technical expertise. In this respect they are stunningly effective. But they also demand and reward long and careful looking. They explore and hold up for scrutiny, a whole range of dualities that speak directly to contemporary consciousness.
Excerpt from the essay-
Following Your Nose and Telling Stories:
The Paintings of David Taborn, by Jon Thompson
For more information about David Taborn, view his website at www.davidtaborn.com