Koplin Del Rio is pleased to announce its fourth exhibition of drawings by Arkansas artist David Bailin.
The vigorously animate charcoal drawings depict narratives imbued with a sense of mystery and surrealism, as well as a subtle sense of humor. The narratives depict backdrops and characters, which would normally appear unremarkable, yet at the artist's hand they become curious and thought provoking. His newest series titled C (charcoal, coffee and ‘see’) , features a host of subjects toiling away inside an office at mundane and often absurd tasks. As the viewer recognizes the space as an everyday cubicle, the action depicted begs a closer look. In a piece titled "Hammer" features a cramped office space where the furniture seems to be closing in on a hapless businessman attempting to hang a picture on a wall - only he’s going about it all wrong. Gaping nail holes arch on the wall nonsensically, yet the man seems oblivious to his own folly. The newest body of work continues to incorporate Bailin’s painterly and gestural application of charcoal on heavily waxed paper, the backgrounds a warm hand dyed sepia tone made through coffee stains, but the interiors have become starker. The mark making remains equally as bold, but the frenetic, repetitive lines have been concentrated and stripped down to near bare elements, Mondrian-like in their severity, while Bailin's figures break up the grid with unexpected turns of humanity.
After a number of years wiping out drawings I've become quite adept at erasure. At points there were no real differences between the erasure and the drawing. I spent many hours moving charcoal from one point to another - tracking and tracing ghosts. More charcoal accumulated on my studio floor than on the drawing. In this cubicle seeing traces of my footprints provided significant evidence that some kind of life had taken place.
The cubical and the small office contain many stories. While the technology has changed, the cubicle has not and our movements and interactions within them haven’t either. I spent long hours in each doing work that at the time had importance but remain for me now only as activities - invoicing and reconciling, sorting, filing, trashing. Within those activities whole beings appear - clear, crisp and complete - evidence of our occupation like thecharcoal dust left on my studio floor.
David Bailin received his MA from Hunter College in New York and his BFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has received fellowship awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the NEA / Mid-American Arts Alliance, as well as, the Arkansas Art Council. Bailin was given a solo exhibition in 2000 at the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock and at the Visual Arts Center at the Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2009. His work has been acquired by a number of public institutions including the Arkansas Art Center Foundation Collection in Little Rock, and Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington D.C. In 2012 he participated in the 54th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Art Center and received the prestigious Delta Award. David Bailin currently lives and works in Little Rock, Arkansas.