Vilma Gold are pleased to announce our forthcoming show of new paintings by William Daniels. This is his third show at the gallery.
Daniels is best known for his meticulous trompe l'oeil works depicting well known art historical paintings. He creates maquettes of the source paintings out of simple materials such as paper, cardboard or silver foil which then serve as models for highly detailed facsimiles in oil paint. Recognizable, but pared down and muted in tone, the small-scale paintings are at once a still-life and a rendering of the original artwork, calling into question issues of representation, documentation and authenticity.
With his recent paintings, Daniels eschews source imagery and creates dioramas out of reflective foil which are entirely abstract. Keeping the basic form of the model consistent, Daniels plays with the colour of the surroundings in which it is placed to test the transformative effects of reflected light on the object. As such, looking across the paintings the object appears to shift between guises, moving from evoking the calmly undulating natural form in a landscape to the brazen and speedy flash of the carnivalesque. But although the set up is a construction, the light that decides the object is the natural unknown. The resulting painting marks the impossible threshold between the construct and the organic to become something not quite belonging to either pole. This bouncing between the fabricated and the natural resonates strangely in the way that the reflected light shimmering on the foil already has the look of the brush mark that is bound to mimic it. Occasionally, with a number of the paintings containing the familiar line of the end of the film strip, Daniels lets the immaculate facade literally slip to reveal the mechanism lying behind it.
Daniels' embraces contradictions - the real and the reflected, the modest and the monumental, the meticulous and the expressive - and in doing he explores the interstitial space whereby the autonomy of the painting may lie.
William Daniels was born in Brighton in 1976 and lives and works in London. He has had solo shows at Luhring Augustine, New York (2010), Vilma Gold, London (2007) and at Marc Foxx, Los Angeles (2007). His work is currently showing in Mimesi Permanente at GAM, Turin and in Newspeak at the Saatchi Gallery, London.